Top British spy to deliver first public speech

LONDON—The boss of Britain’s foreign spy agency is giving an unprecedented televised speech to a gathering of academics and journalists.

Thursday’s speech by John Sawyers, who heads the country’s Secret Intelligence Service—better known as MI6—signals a cultural shift for an organization that until 1992 did not officially exist.

MI6 has made tentative steps toward greater openness, launching a website and posting recruitment ads in Britain’s media over the past five years.

The speech comes as the government imposes spending cuts which are expected to trim about 7.5 percent from the budgets of MI6 and the country’s two other major intelligence agencies over the next five years.

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