Conservative Minister revealed to have spied for Czechs in Cold War

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A TORY Minister in the 1960s sold information about his colleagues and Parliament to communist spies, it has emerged.

Czech Security Service files reveal Raymond Mawby was in its pay for a decade, according to a BBC investigation.

He supplied spies with a floorplan of the prime minister’s Commons office, lists of parliamentary committees, information about colleagues and a supposedly confidential parliamentary investigation into a Conservative peer, it found.

Mr Mawby, who served as MP for the Totnes constituency in Devon from 1955 until he was deselected in 1983, was a gambler and began accepting “loans” while playing roulette and other games, the files show.

He later went on to accept payments, usually for £100 a time, for information and was given the codename Laval.

“Mawby has also promised to carry out tasks such as asking questions in Parliament according to our needs,” documents written by a Czech handler in 1962 show.

Mr Mawby became assistant postmaster general and a junior minister in 1963.

His handler feared the promotion could end their arrangement as it meant a salary increase of £2,000 a year, but the MP continued the arrangement.

As well as supplying information about the layout of the PM’s parliamentary office, he provided details about its security arrangements. It remains unclear what the Czechs intended to do with the information but it could have been used to break in or plant bugs.

“I recommend giving Laval at the following meeting before Christmas £100 on the understanding that he will provide us with the requested plan,” the handler wrote.

He did not have access to any top secret information but often provided political gossip.

The BBC said the file showed the relationship ending in November 1971.

It was previously known that some Labour MPs – including one minister, John Stonehouse – had spied for the Czechs, but this is the first time a Conservative has been shown to have engaged in passing information to communist spies.

Mr Mawby died in 1990.