Crispin Aubrey

CRISPIN AUBREY, who came to wide public notice through involvement in 1977 with a defence campaign for fellow journalists Phil Agee and Mark Hosenball, threatened with deportation for uncovering the GCHQ spy operation, died of a heart attack aged 66 on 28 September. After the campaign was approached by John Berry, who had worked in Signals Intelligence, connected to GCHQ, Crispin, John and journalist Duncan Cambell, were arrested under the Official Secrets Act.

This led to an "ABC" defence campaign. The prosecution called as a witness one "Colonel B", whose task was apparently to impress on the court the heinous secrecy of the three's one conversation.

That campaign unmasked the Colonel as Hugh Anthony Johnstone, leading to proceedings against eleven people, including me and the then editor of the Journalist - and to the "Colonel B" defence campaign.

You just don't get third-order defence campaigns any more.


Crispin was a campaigner to the end - and beyond. A speech he had prepared for a demonstration against the expansion of Hinckley Point nuclear power station near his Somerset home was delivered by a fellow campaigner on 8 October.

Last modified: 28 Oct 2012 - © 2012 contributors
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