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Britain's foreign spy master John Sawers to step down

Published on Jun 26, 2014 6:54 PM

LONDON (REUTERS) - The chief of Britain's MI6 foreign intelligence service will step down in November after five years in the job, a government source said on Thursday.

Mr John Sawers, a peer, is believed to have wanted to relinquish his sensitive role as chief of the Secret Intelligence Service before a national election next year.

He will step down around the same time as the head of Britain's GCHQ eavesdropping agency leaves his post.

Mr Sawers, 58, made headlines last year when he appeared before a parliamentary committee to complain that documents leaked by former US intelligence operative Edward Snowden had put secret operations at risk and were being "lapped up" by Al-Qaeda.

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