Age, Biography and Wiki

Peter Wright (MI5 officer) was born on 9 August, 1916 in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England, United Kingdom, is an officer. Discover Peter Wright (MI5 officer)’s Biography, Age, Height, Physical Stats, Dating/Affairs, Family and career updates. Learn How rich is He in this year and how He spends money? Also learn how He earned most of networth at the age of 79 years old?

Popular As N/A
Occupation N/A
Age 79 years old
Zodiac Sign Leo
Born 9 August 1916
Birthday 9 August
Birthplace Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England, United Kingdom
Date of death (1995-04-26)
Died Place N/A
Nationality United Kingdom

We recommend you to check the complete list of Famous People born on 9 August.
He is a member of famous officer with the age 79 years old group.

Peter Wright (MI5 officer) Height, Weight & Measurements

At 79 years old, Peter Wright (MI5 officer) height not available right now. We will update Peter Wright (MI5 officer)’s Height, weight, Body Measurements, Eye Color, Hair Color, Shoe & Dress size soon as possible.

Physical Status
Height Not Available
Weight Not Available
Body Measurements Not Available
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Who Is Peter Wright (MI5 officer)’s Wife?

His wife is Lois Foster-Melliar ​(m. 1938)​

Parents Not Available
Wife Lois Foster-Melliar ​(m. 1938)​
Sibling Not Available
Children Three

Peter Wright (MI5 officer) Net Worth

His net worth has been growing significantly in 2022-2023. So, how much is Peter Wright (MI5 officer) worth at the age of 79 years old? Peter Wright (MI5 officer)’s income source is mostly from being a successful officer. He is from United Kingdom. We have estimated
Peter Wright (MI5 officer)’s net worth
, money, salary, income, and assets.

Net Worth in 2023 $1 Million – $5 Million
Salary in 2023 Under Review
Net Worth in 2022 Pending
Salary in 2022 Under Review
House Not Available
Cars Not Available
Source of Income officer

Peter Wright (MI5 officer) Social Network




According to the documents released in 2015, the Australian government, then led by Bob Hawke, heeded the advice from British counterparts and lent support to the UK government’s bid to suppress publication, despite being aware that Australia’s national security was not ″directly threatened″ by anything in Wright’s manuscript. A memorandum prepared by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet said among other things: ″The British are seeking to avoid discussion of any of Wright’s specific allegations, arguing that, for the purposes of the trial, they can all be assumed to be true and even then Wright’s breach of confidentiality would be a breach of contract and inequitable.″


In the opinion of the official historian of MI5, Christopher Andrew, Turnbull’s ″brilliant″ conduct of the Spycatcher case humiliated the British establishment and triggered much-needed intelligence service reform. In 2011, Turnbull said that ″Margaret Thatcher’s iron will made Spycatcher a global bestseller″. The affair influenced the enactment of the official secrets legislation of 1989 by hastening it and probably making its provisions more severe. In 1991, the European Court of Human Rights found that the attempts of the British government to ban the book had violated the right to freedom of speech.


The case made by Wright against Roger Hollis was re-stated by (Henry) Chapman Pincher in his book, Treachery: Betrayals, Blunders, and Cover-ups: Six Decades of Espionage Against America and Great Britain (2009). But in its obituary of Pincher in 2014, The Times discredited the journalist’s theory (“Paranoia Hollisiensisis”) and asserted that Hollis had not been a Soviet spy.


He died in Tasmania on 26 April 1995, aged 78. The obituary in The Independent opined: ″No British intelligence officer other than Kim Philby caused more mayhem within Britain’s secret services and more trouble for British politicians than Peter Wright.″


Wright went on to publish The Encyclopaedia of Espionage in 1991 and reportedly was writing a fictional spy thriller at the time of his death.


The UK government in 1985 attempted to ban the publication of Wright’s memoirs by Heinemann in Australia. In 1987, the Supreme Court of New South Wales in Sydney ruled against the British government, Wright being represented in court by Malcolm Turnbull, later prime minister of Australia. Turnbull’s tough questioning of Robert Armstrong, Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet secretary, led Armstrong to admit in court that a letter he had written was ″economical with the truth″. The subsequent appeals against the decision were definitively dismissed in 1988, the High Court of Australia concluding in its decision on the case: ″[…] The appellant’s claim for protection (whether injunctive or by way of accounts or damages) ought to have been refused simply on the ground that the Court would not, in the absence of statutory direction, protect the intelligence secrets and confidential political information of the United Kingdom Government.″ By then, the U.S. edition of the book was already an international best-seller. Spycatcher sold nearly two million copies and made the author a millionaire.


Victor Rothschild, 3rd Baron Rothschild, to quell rumours, of him being a “fifth man” in the Cambridge Spy Ring, paid Wright’s airfare from Australia to meet with Chapman Pincher, in writing Their Trade Is Treachery (1982) and Wright received royalties of £30,000 for this collaboration.


When Wright retired in 1976, Harold Wilson was again prime minister. Dame Stella Rimington, MI5 Director General from 1992 to 1996, who was serving in MI5 while Wright was still working there, wrote in 2001 that she believed that in a Panorama programme in 1988, Wright had retracted his allegation made in his book about the MI5 group of thirty officers who plotted to overthrow Wilson’s government. She also criticised Wright who, according to her, by the time she knew him well was “a man with an obsession, and was regarded by many as quite mad and certainly dangerous.” Rimington alleged that Wright was a disruptive and lazy officer, who as special advisor to the Director had a habit of taking case files that interested him from other officers, failing to return them to their proper place, and failing to write up any interviews he conducted.

Upon his retirement in 1976, Wright was denied a full pension on a technicality and emigrated to Tasmania, living in the town of Cygnet, where he bred Arabian horses.


According to Wright, the FLUENCY Working Party, an inter-agency committee created to examine all the hitherto unsolved allegations about penetration of the British security apparatus, unanimously concluded, among other things, that Hollis was the likely individual for Gouzenko’s “Elli” and Konstantin Volkov’s “Acting Head” allegations. The committee chaired by Wright submitted its final report shortly after Hollis retired in late 1965 as MI5 Director-General, but investigation of Hollis was not authorized by his successor, Martin Furnival Jones, who nevertheless authorized the investigation of his deputy, Michael Hanley. A retired civil servant, Burke Trend, later Lord Trend, was summoned during the early 1970s to review the Hollis case. Trend studied the case for a year and concluded that the evidence was inconclusive for either convicting or clearing Hollis; this was announced in March 1981 by the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.


In 1964, Wright became chairman of a joint MI5/MI6 committee, codenamed FLUENCY Working Party, appointed to find the traitor and investigate the whole history of Soviet penetration of Britain. For six years beginning in 1964 he regularly interviewed Anthony Blunt, a member of the Cambridge Five, trying to glean more information from him about other Soviet agents.

Wright’s investigation was also focused on Labour prime minister Harold Wilson, suspicions about whom were initially triggered amongst the MI5 management by James Jesus Angleton, Deputy Director of Operations for Counterintelligence at the CIA. This occurred shortly after Wilson’s appointment as prime minister in 1964. The MI5 investigation into Wilson’s background, however, failed to produce any conclusive evidence.


After the Soviet spy Kim Philby’s defection to the USSR in 1963, following what Wright refers to as a warning by “a fifth man, still inside”, he became convinced that the KGB had penetrated the highest levels of MI5. As claimed in Spycatcher, Wright had come to believe that Roger Hollis was the highest traitor in MI5. Wright went so far as to begin to make, as he himself put it, “his own ‘freelance’ inquiries into Hollis’s background” shortly before the latter’s retirement.


According to Wright, his initial, unspecified suspicion was aroused by his analysis of the KGB’s reaction to the arrest of a Soviet operative, Gordon Lonsdale, in January 1961. The KGB appeared to have had foreknowledge of the arrest, and Wright deduced that Lonsdale may have been sacrificed to protect a more important Soviet spy in Britain. Wright’s suspicions were further strengthened by Hollis’s apparent obstruction of any attempt to investigate information from several defectors that there was a mole in MI5; and he then discovered that Hollis had concealed relationships with a number of suspicious persons, including his longstanding friendship with Claud Cockburn, a communist journalist who was at the time suspected of connections to Soviet intelligence; and an acquaintance with Agnes Smedley while Hollis was serving in Shanghai, at a time when Smedley was in a relationship with Richard Sorge, a proven Soviet spymaster.


Wright worked as the first chairman of the new Radio Operations Committee (ROC) formed in 1960. The technical staffs from the earlier separate and competitive British intelligence organizations finally began to combine their efforts, thus allowing the methods used in ENGULF and RAFTER to be expanded into domestic and foreign intelligence operations that would last into the late 1960s. According to Wright, MI5, MI6, and GCHQ had not functioned together or shared information as effectively since the war.


In 1954, Wright was recruited as principal scientific officer for MI5. According to his memoirs, he then was either responsible for, or intimately involved with, the development of some of the basic methods of ELINT, for example:


According to his own account, Wright’s work for the British intelligence service, initially part-time, started in the spring of 1949, when he was given a job as a Navy Scientist attached to the Marconi Company. According to Spycatcher, during his stint there, he was instrumental in resolving a difficult technical problem. The Central Intelligence Agency sought Marconi’s assistance with a covert listening device (or “bug”) that had been found in a replica of the Great Seal of the United States presented to the United States ambassador in Moscow in 1945 by the Young Pioneer organization of the Soviet Union. Wright determined that the bugging device, dubbed The Thing, was actually a tiny capacitive membrane (a condenser microphone) that became active only when 330 MHz microwaves were beamed to it from a remote transmitter. A remote receiver could then have been used to decode the modulated microwave signal and permit sounds picked up by the microphone to be heard. The device was eventually attributed to the Soviet inventor Léon Theremin.


Wright graduated shortly before the Second World War and soon followed in his father’s footsteps, taking a job at the Admiralty’s Research Laboratory. He remained there throughout the war and in 1946 began work as a Principal Scientific Officer at the Services Electronics Research Laboratory.


While serving in MI5, Wright became aware that since the 1930s the USSR’s espionage agencies had been infiltrating the British government’s military and education establishments with the help of close-knit left-wing homosexual circles at Oxford and Cambridge, especially the Cambridge Apostles. With like-minded MI5 officers, Wright became alert to the fact that some senior figures in the intelligence services, in politics, and in the trade unions had been recruited long ago as Soviet agents.


Peter Maurice Wright CBE (9 August 1916 – 26 April 1995) was a principal scientific officer for MI5, the British counter-intelligence agency. His book Spycatcher, written with Paul Greengrass, became an international bestseller with sales of over two million copies. Spycatcher was part memoir, part exposé of what Wright claimed were serious institutional failures in MI5 and his subsequent investigations into those. He is said to have been influenced in his counterespionage activity by James Jesus Angleton, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) counterintelligence chief from 1954 to 1975.