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THE STATE AND THE ASSASSINATION THREAT IN BRITAIN, 1971–1984

  • SIMON BALL (a1)
Abstract

The emergence of London as a major site of political murder caught the British state by surprise in the early 1970s. Assumptions about assassination – as an event linked to the British empire – built up over seven decades – had to be abandoned in under a decade. The change in Britain's understanding of its vulnerability within the international system was traumatic. This change took place in three stages, beginning in 1971, 1978, and 1984. There were strong elements of continuity between the Callaghan government and the first Thatcher government. It was the second Thatcher government that made a more radical break with the past. A new understanding of assassination conspiracies altered fundamentally the state's approach to security.

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Corresponding author
School of History, University of LeedsS.J.Ball@leeds.ac.uk
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The author would like to thank Professor Richard English, Dr Rachel Hoffman, and the anonymous readers of the Historical Journal for their close and helpful reading of earlier drafts of the article.

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References
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1 Hoffman, Bruce, Anonymous soldiers: the struggle for Israel, 1917–1947 (New York, NY, 2016), pp. 250–1, 322, 336–42, 404–9, 439–40.

2 Ball, Simon, ‘The assassination culture of imperial Britain, 1909–1979’, Historical Journal, 56 (2013), pp. 231–56.

3 House of Lords, 11 Sept. 1972, Hansard, vol. 335, cc. 4–9; D. L. Cole, circular, ‘International terrorism: procedure for dealing with terrorist threats or incidents at home or abroad’, 8 Dec. 1972, The National Archives, London (TNA), FCO57/428. All archival references are TNA unless otherwise specified. Rapoport, David C., Assassination and terrorism (Toronto, ON, 1971); ‘Interview with Dr. David C. Rapoport, founding editor of the journal Terrorism and Political Violence’, Religio Magazine, 2 Mar. 2015, http://religiomag.com/interview-with-dr-david-c-rapoport/; George, David, ‘Distinguishing classical tyrannicide from modern terrorism’, Review of Politics, 50 (1988), pp. 390419.

4 Margaret Thatcher, ‘The defence of freedom: foreign policy in a dangerous and disorderly world’, Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Lecture, New Delhi, 19 Aug. 1995, London, Margaret Thatcher Foundation, Thatcher Archive, Press Releases.

5 The classic baseline study is Havens, Murray, Leiden, Carl, and Schmitt, Karl, The politics of assassination (Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1970). See further Crotty, William, ed., Assassinations and the political order (New York, NY, 1971); Iqbal, Zaryab and Zorn, Christopher, ‘Sic Semper Tyrannis? Power, repression and assassination since the Second World War’, Journal of Politics, 68 (2006), pp. 489501; Jones, Benjamin and Olken, Benjamin, ‘Hit or miss? The effect of assassinations on institutions and war’, American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 1 (2009), pp. 5587; Laura Bell, ‘Terrorist assassination and institutional change in repressive regimes’, Terrorism and Political Violence, published online (2017), pp. 1–23.

6 Ben-Yahuda, Nachman, ‘Political assassination events as a cross-cultural form of alternative justice’, International Journal of Comparative Sociology, 38 (1997), pp. 2547.

7 Eyerman, Ron, The cultural sociology of political assassination: from MLK and RFK to Fortuyn and van Gogh (New York, NY, 2011), pp. 1011.

8 Pentland, Gordon, ‘The indignant nation: Australian responses to the attempted assassination of the duke of Edinburgh in 1868’, English Historical Review, 130 (2015), pp. 5788.

9 Snow, David et al. , ‘Frame alignment processes, micromobilization, and movement participation’, American Sociological Review, 51 (1986), pp. 464–81.

10 Benford, Robert and Snow, David, ‘Framing processes and social movements: an overview and assessment’, Annual Review of Sociology, 26 (2000), pp. 611–39.

11 Buzan, Barry, Waever, Ole, and de Wilde, Jaap, Security: a new framework for analysis (Boulder, CO, 1998).

12 Kathryn Marie Fisher, ‘From twentieth-century troubles to twenty-first century international terrorism: identity, securitization, and British counterterrorism from 1968 to 2011’ (Ph.D. thesis, LSE, 2012), pp. 299–302; subsequently published as Security, identity and British counterterrorism policy (London, 2015).

13 English, Richard, ‘The future study of terrorism’, European Journal of International Security, 1 (2016), pp. 135–49; Giovanni Ceci, Mario, ‘A “historical turn” in terrorism studies?’, Journal of Contemporary History, 51 (2016), pp. 888–96.

14 Pentland, Gordon, ‘“Now the great man in the parliament house is dead, we shall have a big loaf!” Responses to the assassination of Spencer Perceval’, Journal of British Studies, 51 (2012), pp. 340–63.

15 Hoffman, Rachel G., ‘The age of assassination: monarchy and nation in nineteenth-century Europe’, in Rüger, Jan and Wachsmann, Nikolaus, eds., Rewriting German history: new perspectives on modern Germany (London, 2015), pp. 121–41.

16 For a general reflection, see Ben-Yehuda, Nachman, ‘Gathering dark secrets, hidden and dirty information: some methodological notes on studying political assassination’, Qualitative Sociology, 13 (1990), pp. 345–71. For a recent illustration of how little the British state wishes to discuss assassination and security, see HC 695, The Litvinenko Inquiry: report into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, 21 Jan. 2016.

17 Avneri, Netanel, ‘The Iraqi coups of July 1968 and the American connection’, Middle Eastern Studies, 51 (2015), pp. 649–63.

18 Woods, Kevin and Stout, Mark, ‘New sources for the study of Iraqi intelligence during the Saddam era’, Intelligence and National Security, 25 (2010), pp. 547–87; and Kirchner, Magdalena, ‘“A good investment?” State sponsorship of terrorism as an instrument of Iraqi foreign policy, 1979–1991’, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 27 (2014), pp. 521–37.

19 Little, Douglas, ‘To the shores of Tripoli: America, Qaddafi, and Libyan revolution, 1969–1989’, International History Review, 35 (2013), pp. 7099.

20 Byman, Daniel, A high price: the triumphs and failures of Israeli counterterrorism (Oxford, 2011), pp. 2957.

21 English, Richard, Armed struggle: the history of the IRA (London, 2004), ch. 4: ‘The politics of violence, 1972–1976’; Leahy, Thomas, ‘The influence of informers and agents on PIRA military strategy and British counter-insurgency strategy’, Twentieth Century British History, 26 (2015), pp. 122–46.

22 Hatcher (Information) to Reeve (Maritime, Aviation, and Environment Department (MAED)), 29 July 1982, FCO9/3696, and ‘Armenian terrorism’, Synnott (Southern European Department) to Short (Ankara), 9 Aug. 1983, FCO9/4316.

23 Young, John, Twentieth-century diplomacy: a case study of British practice, 1963–1976 (Cambridge, 2008), pp. 122–3, 140, 226.

24 Weir to private secretary (PS) /permanent under secretary (PUS), 10 July 1978, FCO8/3251.

25 Merlyn Rees to prime minister (PM), 16 Aug. 1978, FCO8/3240; Geoffrey Howe to home secretary, 21 Dec. 1983, FCO8/5265.

26 Beaumont (MAED) to Tatham, 15 July 1980 with draft report attached, FCO93/2337.

27 Note on a meeting held on 21 Feb. 1978: Arab terrorism incidents in the United Kingdom, FCO93/1559.

28 Lucas to Radcliffe, 11 May 1977, FCO8/3060.

29 ‘Arab terrorism: note of a meeting held on 1st August 1978’, FCO8/3230.

30 Draft speech by the PM at the dinner in tribute to Shlomo Argov, 21 July 1983 (with PM's handwritten notes on second draft), 21 July 1983, Cambridge, Churchill Archive Centre (CAC), Thatcher MSS, THCR 5/1/5/212, Part 2.

31 Memo by Commander Watt of Special Branch, 11 Jan. 1978, attached to Guy (Home Office) to Beer (PUSD), 13 Jan. 1978, FCO93/1559.

32 ‘Death of a moderate’, leader, Times, 6 Jan. 1978, 13.

33 Sanaa (Strachan) to FCO, ‘Who killed Higri?’, Tel. 89, 11 Apr. 1977, FCO8/3060.

34 Note on a meeting held on 21 Feb. [1978]: Arab terrorism incidents in the United Kingdom, FCO8/3240.

35 ‘Home Office: terrorist incidents (other than Irish) in Great Britain, 1972–1980’, Phillips (Home Office) to Burton (MAED), 2 June 1980, FCO93/2347.

36 Christopher Andrew, The defence of the realm: the authorized history of MI5 (London, 2009), p. 600.

37 Robin Butler to Sir Robert Armstrong, 9 May 1984, PREM19/1302.

38 FCO (Douglas-Home) to Amman, Tel. 10, 5 Jan. 1972, FCO17/1704.

39 Gore-Booth to Melhuish (Washington), 13 Jan. 1972, FCO17/1704.

40 Gore-Booth to Evans, 27 Jan. 1972, FCO17/1704.

41 Paris (Soames) to FCO, Tel. 646, 18 May 1972, FCO17/1706.

42 Gore-Booth to Champion (Amman), 24 July 1972, FCO17/1706.

43 D. A. Gore-Booth, note for the record, 19 May 1972, FCO17/1706.

44 Lord Bridges to Grattan (FCO), 25 Sept. 1972, HO287/2205.

45 Cradock (assessments staff) to Lord Bridges, 26 Sept. 1972, HO287/2205.

46 McCluney to Witney (Baghdad), 17 Feb. 1977, FCO8/3019.

47 D. J. R. Hill, ‘Qadhafi and the IRA’, 2 June 1977, CJ4/3923.

48 ‘Paris terrorist linked with Sieff shooting’, Times, 9 July 1975, p. 3.

49 Lord Sieff to PM, with annotations by Margaret Thatcher, 25 Apr. 1984, PREM19/1301.

50 Note for the record, 13 May 1980, PREM19/1299.

51 Hill to Jones, 27 Sept. 1977, CJ4/3923.

52 Hill to Mrs Alton, 24 Nov. 1977, CJ4/3923.

53 McCluney to Witney (Baghdad), 17 Feb. 1977, FCO8/3019.

54 McCluney to Lucas, 25 Mar. 1977, FCO8/3019.

55 Day (Beirut) to Shelton (Middle Eastern Department (MED)), 25 Oct. 1977, FCO8/3019.

56 Graham to Lucas, 2 Mar. 1977, FCO8/3019.

57 FCO to Sanaa, Tel. 58, 18 Apr. 1977; Bahrain to FCO, Tel. 67, 20 Apr. 1977, FCO8/3060.

58 Sanaa (Strachan) to FCO, 18 May 1977, FCO8/3060.

59 Sanaa to FCO, Tel. 121, 19 May 1977, FCO8/3060; Sanaa to FCO, Tel. 123, 19 May 1977, FCO8/3061.

60 Commander R. P. Watt, MPSB, ‘Assassination of YAR diplomats on 10.4.77’, 20 May 1977, FCO8/3061.

61 Marginal note on Beaumont (MED) to Kealy, 9 Nov. 1977, FCO8/3061.

62 Draft letter from home secretary to Leon Brittan MP, Dec. 1977, FCO8/3061.

63 Guy (Home Office) to Commander Jim Nevill (C13 Branch, Metropolitan Police), 30 Dec. 1977, FCO8/3061.

64 FCO to Beirut, Tel. 11, 4 Jan. 1978 (copies to David Owen and No. 10), FCO93/1559.

65 FCO to Beirut, Tel. 26, 12 Jan. 1978, FCO93/1559; Fraser (Baghdad) to Rae (MED), 7 Sept. 1982, FCO8/4730.

66 Merlyn Rees to PM, 16 Aug. 1978, FCO8/3240.

67 David Owen to Merlyn Rees, 13 July 1978, FCO8/3251.

68 ‘The murder of General Abdul Razzak Nayif’, annex to Weir to PS/PUS, 10 July 1978, FCO8/3251.

69 Box 500 to Tatham, 13 July 1978; Security Service notes on Iraqi intelligence officers in the UK, July 1978, attached to Tatham to Weir, 13 July 1978, FCO8/3251.

70 Shelton (MED) to Tatham, 25 July 1978, FCO8/3251.

71 Weir to PS/PUS, 10 July 1978, FCO8/3251.

72 Palliser to PS, 20 July 1978, FCO8/3251.

73 Cartledge (No. 10) to Prendergast (FCO), 25 July 1978, FCO8/3251.

74 FCO to Baghdad, Tel. 368, 25 July 1978, FCO8/3251.

75 Weir to PS, 31 July 1978, FCO8/3230.

76 Morris (Home Office) to Stowe (10 Downing Street), note for PM on Arab terrorist incidents, 4 Aug. 1978, FCO8/3230.

77 Lucas to Figg, ‘Relations with Iraq’, 5 Sept. 1977, FCO8/3230.

78 Palliser to Lucas (MED), 17 Oct. 1978, FCO8/3231.

79 ‘Letter from Baghdad’, Private Eye, and ‘The Casbah Capones’, Daily Mirror, 31 July 1978, clippings in FCO8/3230.

80 D. C. Beaumont (MED) to Lucas, 5 Dec. 1977, FCO8/3061.

81 Palliser to Tatham, 13 July 1978, FCO8/3251.

82 Haslam, Jonathan, Near and distant neighbours: a new history of Soviet intelligence (Oxford, 2015), pp. 259–60.

83 Gray (MAED) to Wright, 25 July 1983, FCO9/4316.

84 Smith (Eastern European and Soviet Department) to Goodison, 30 Dec. 1982, FCO28/4874.

85 Holland, Jack and McDonald, Henry, INLA: deadly divisions (Dublin, 2010), ch. 6: ‘Terror in the cathedral, murder in the palace’.

86 Chilcot (Home Office) to Sanders, 5 Apr. 1979; Phillips (F4) to Chilcot, 18 June 1979; Newington to PS to US, 18 June 1979, FCO87/907.

87 Walden (FCO) to Michael Alexander (No. 10 PS overseas), 20 Mar. 1980 with Margaret Thatcher's handwritten comment, PREM19/295.

88 Margaret Thatcher: ‘I believe that those who have committed this terrible crime against humanity have forfeited their right to live.’ House of Commons, Hansard, 28 Nov. 1975, vol. 901, cc. 1189–95; ‘Airey Neave Memorial Lecture’, Michael Alexander (10 Downing Street) to Roy Harrington (Northern Ireland Office (NIO)), 29 Feb. 1980, CJ4/3134; menu card from fourth Ross McWhirter memorial dinner with Margaret Thatcher's handwritten speech notes, 7 Apr. 1981, CAC, THCR 1/7/5/182.

89 Phillips (F4) to Chilcot, 18 June 1979; a contemporaneous Paris Match interview with two INLA members was widely circulated within government circles: Paris to FCO, Tel. 316, 16 June 1979, FCO33/4157.

90 D. J. Wright to Pattison, 24 Nov. 1981; PS to the secretary of the cabinet to PM, Security Service report, ‘Panorama programme of 23 Nov. 1981 dealing with the activities of Messrs Wilson and Terpil’, 25 Nov. 1981, PREM19/1299.

91 R. J. Sawers (Damascus) to P. F. Ricketts (Near Eastern and North African Department (NENAD)), 24 May 1983, FCO8/5265.

92 D. B. Goodsir (Security Department), ‘Abu Nidhal’, 11 Nov. 1982, FCO8/4730.

93 Ashton, Nigel, ‘Love's labours lost: Margaret Thatcher, King Hussein and Anglo-Jordanian relations, 1979–1990’, Diplomacy and Statecraft, 22 (2011), pp. 651–77.

94 Zakariah, M. H., ‘Oil, war and European initiatives for peace in the Middle East, 1973–1974: British attitude and perspective’, Middle Eastern Studies, 48 (2012), pp. 589611.

95 Little, ‘America, Qaddafi, and Libyan Revolution, 1969–1989’, p. 86.

96 Tomkys (NENAD) to Hill (Division 3L, NIO), 26 June 1979, CJ4/3923.

97 Private secretary to the secretary of the cabinet to PM, Security Service report, 25 Nov. 1981, PREM19/1299.

98 Drew (Home Office) to Harding (NENAD), 2 Sept. 1980, FCO93/2337.

99 Background note for secretary of state: shooting of a Libyan dissident, FCO93/2359.

100 Miles to Moberly, 17 Apr. 1980, FCO93/2359.

101 Miles to PS/Hurd, 24 Apr. 1980, FCO93/2359; Lord Carrington to PM, PM/80/32; Maitland to PS to the PM, 25 Apr. 1980, PREM19/1299.

102 Note for PM, 25 Apr. 1980, PREM19/1299.

103 Lever (PS to foreign secretary) to Pattison (10 Downing Street), 8 May 1980, PREM19/1299.

104 Note to PM, 12 May 1980, PREM19/1299.

105 Alexander to Armstrong, 9 May 1980, PREM19/1299.

106 FCO to Tripoli, Tel. 228, 13 June 1980, PREM19/1299.

107 Secretary of state (Venice) for lord privy seal (Ian Gilmour) and Mr Hurd, Tel. 17, 13 June 1980, PREM19/1299.

108 Miers to Urwick (Amman), 1 Nov. 1982, FCO8/4730.

109 Rae to Miers, 29 Oct. 1982, FCO8/4730.

110 Miers to Wright, 25 May 1983, FCO8/5265; NENAD, ‘The PLO: a stocktaking’, 6 Jan. 1983, and ‘Middle East terrorism: who are the killers?’ 10 Dec. 1982, PREM19/1087.

111 Note of a telephone conversation, 18 Jan. 1983, FCO8/5265, underlining in the original.

112 FCO to Baghdad, Tel. 128, 3 Mar. 1983, FCO8/5265.

113 FCO to Baghdad, Tel. 160, 15 Mar. 1983, FCO8/5265.

114 Amman to FCO, Tel. 72, 23 Mar. 1983, FCO8/5265.

115 Baghdad to FCO, Tel. 736, 28 Nov. 1983, FCO8/5265.

116 Baghdad to FCO, Tel. 468, 9 Aug. 1983, FCO8/5265.

117 Holmes (FCO) to Coles (Downing Street), 12 Oct. 1983, PREM19/1299.

118 LPB – chronology, Feb.–Apr. 1984, PREM19/1301.

119 Hugh Taylor (Home Office), ‘Threat to Libyan “dissidents”’, 1 Mar. 1984, PREM19/1299.

120 Q. & A. brief: UK/Libyan dealings since 1979, PREM19/1301; ‘Record of a telephone conversation between the PM and the home secretary at 1530 hours’, 20 Apr. 1984, PREM19/1300; Barclay to Shipley, 27 Apr. 1984, PREM19/1301.

121 Andrew, Defence of the realm, p. 699.

122 ‘Record of a meeting between the PM and Signor Craxi, PM of Italy, at 10 Downing Street on Friday 19 Oct. at 1000 hours’, PREM19/1554.

123 Charles Powell to PM, 19 Oct. 1984, handwritten annotation on Armstrong to Powell, 18 Oct. 1984, underlining by PM, PREM19/1288.

124 Margaret Thatcher, speaking notes, 31 Oct. 1984, PREM19/1663.

125 CC (84) 35th conclusions, 1 Nov. 1984, CAB128/79.

126 Prime minister's press conference: Saturday 3 Nov. 1984, PREM19/1663; CC (84) 38th conclusions, 22 Nov. 1984, CAB128/79.

127 Ray Wilson and Ian Adams, Special Branch: a history, 1883–2006 (London, 2015), ch. 27: ‘Protection’.

128 Hanbury-Tenison (Brussels) to Mayall (Protocol and Conference Department (PCD)), 10 Feb. 1972, FCO57/393.

129 Note of a meeting held at the Home Office on 25 Jan. 1972, FCO57/393.

130 Curle (PCD) note on ‘“Sheik” fools Heath's guards’, Sun, 24 Jan. 1974, FCO57/655.

131 Angel to Armstrong (answers to PM's questions), 14 Jan. 1972, HO287/2205.

132 Assistant commissioner, Special Branch to F4 Division Home Office, 16 Dec. 1971, HO287/2205.

133 FCO (Douglas-Home) to Amman, Tel. 5, 4 Jan. 1972, FCO17/1704.

134 Carter (Amman) to Gore-Booth, 6 May 1972; Gore-Booth to Champion (Amman), 16 June 1972, FCO17/1706.

135 Gore-Booth to Laver, 6 Sept. 1972, FCO17/1706.

136 Robert Mark to Sir Philip Allen, 15 Sept. 1972, FCO57/428.

137 Denis Greenhill to PS, 9 Oct. 1972, FCO57/428.

138 Summary of the report of the working party on security and protection of foreign missions, FCO57/655.

139 Meeting held in room 613, Horseferry House, on 14 Feb. 1974 to discuss the report of the working party on security and protection of diplomatic missions, FCO57/655.

140 Gareth Parry, ‘Crackshot squad to guard envoys’, Guardian, 17 Sept. 1974.

141 ‘MPs on “IRA death list in flat”’, Guardian, 26 Jan. 1977, p. 4.

142 Ken Stowe to Marcia Williams, 5 Apr. 1976, PREM16/1270.

143 Chief Inspector Paton, MPSB, ‘Rt Hon. Sir Harold Wilson: security of residence’, 15 Oct. 1976, PREM16/1270.

144 Allen to Stowe, 1 Nov. 1976, PREM16/1270.

145 Allen to Stowe, ‘Protection of Sir Harold Wilson’, 30 Dec. 1976, PREM16/1270.

146 Marcia Falkender to PM, 29 Dec. 1977, PREM16/1270.

147 Jim Callaghan to Marcia Williams, 4 Jan. 1977, PREM16/1270.

148 FCO to Cartledge, for PM, Tel. 49 to Dacca, 5 Jan. 1978, FCO93/1559.

149 Winchester (Security) to chief clerk, 4 May 1979, FCO33/3848.

150 Hibbert (Paris) to Winchester (Security), 23 May 1979, FCO33/3848.

151 Alexander to Whitmore, 30 Apr. 1980, PREM19/1137.

152 Morris (Security) to Davies (Paris), June 1979, FCO33/3848.

153 Cmnd 8254, report of the commissioner of police of the metropolis for year 1980, June 1981.

154 Winchester to chief clerk, 4 May 1979, FCO33/3848.

155 OD (80) 3rd meeting, 29 Jan. 1980, CAB148/189.

156 OD (80) 2, memorandum by the secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs: armed protection for British government representatives overseas, 8 Jan. 1980, CAB148/189.

157 Caie to Short (Ankara), 2 Sept. 1983, FCO9/4360.

158 Armstrong to Powell, 17 Oct. 1984, PREM19/1698.

159 Taylor (Home Office) to Ricketts, 15 June 1984, PREM19/1698.

160 Geoffrey Howe to PM, 4 Sept. 1984, PREM19/1698.

161 Charles Powell note on Geoffrey Howe to PM, 4 Sept. 1984, PREM19/1698, Margaret Thatcher's underlining.

162 Armstrong to Powell, 17 Oct. 1984, PREM19/1698.

163 Powell to Armstrong, 19 Oct. 1984, PREM19/1698.

164 Rough translation of the address of the Italian PM, Signor Bettino Craxi, at the dinner at 10 Downing Street on Thursday, 18 Oct. 1984, PREM19/1554.

165 Administrative plan for the visit of His Excellency Onorevole Bettino Craxi, president of the ministers of the Republic of Italy, 18–19 Oct. 1984, PREM19/1554.

166 Security at the Grand Hotel, Brighton: statement by Mr Butler, 7 Nov. 1984, PREM19/1632.

167 Home secretary's statement on Brighton bombing (Hoddinott report), 22 Jan. 1985, PREM19/1632.

168 Robin Butler, note of a meeting between the PM and Mr Rajiv Gandhi at 1 Akbar Marg. At 10 a.m. on Saturday, 3 Nov. 1984, PREM19/1663; CC (84) 37th conclusions, 15 Nov. 1984, CAB128/79.

169 Jason Burke, ‘All eyes on Britain as terror war accelerates’, Observer, 26 Jan. 2003, p. 7.

170 Parsons to Coles, 29 Nov. 1983, PREM19/1088.

171 Caroline Stephens to PM, with annotations by Margaret Thatcher, 28 Mar. 1983, CAC, THCR 6/2/2/61.

172 Home secretary's statement to the House of Commons – 22 Oct. 1984: bomb explosion at the Grand Hotel, Brighton, PREM19/1632, typist's underlining.

173 Armstrong to Powell, 31 Oct. 1984, PREM19/1288; Powell to Budd (FCO), 5 Nov. 1984, PREM19/1408.

174 Home Secretary's statement to the House of Commons – 22 Oct. 1984.

175 Wicks to PM, with handwritten note by Margaret Thatcher, 19 Nov. 1985, PREM19/1429.

176 Note by officials, ‘Assassination and death or injury in service’, attached to Ian Gow to PM, 15 Nov. 1985, PREM19/1429.

177 Lord Hailsham to Peter Rees, 11 Apr. 1985, PREM19/1429.

178 Stewart Tendler, ‘VIPs force Yard to abandon plan for cheaper protection’, Times, 15 Mar. 1993, p. 2.

179 Hoffman, ‘Age of assassination’, p. 136.

The author would like to thank Professor Richard English, Dr Rachel Hoffman, and the anonymous readers of the Historical Journal for their close and helpful reading of earlier drafts of the article.

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