Former MI6 agent turned Russian spy George Blake has dies aged 98, according to reports

The former MI6 agent turned Russian spy George Blake has died aged 98, according to Russian media.

George Blake, a double KGB agent, escaped from Wormwood Scrubs prison in London, after serving five and a half years of his 42-year sentence for giving away Government secrets

The state-owned news agency RIA Novosti said his death was confirmed by Sergei Ivanov, the head of the press bureau of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).

In 1961, the former MI6 officer was jailed for 42 years for spying for Russia during the Cold War, but he escaped from Wormwood Scrubs in 1966.

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Born in Rotterdam in 1922, he moved to England where he joined the Royal Navy and was later asked to join the British Secret Service.

During the height of the Cold War, he leaked government secrets to the Soviet Union, including a secret tunnel the West, including the UK and the US, had built to tap Soviet communications.

He was exposed as a Soviet agent to the British by a Polish defector, Michael Goleniewski, and arrested.

He was probably the most notorious double agent of the 20th century, and it was through his treachery that hundreds of British agents were betrayed to the Soviet Union.

Although it is known that at least 40 British agents were executed in Russia as a result of his treachery, Blake had always claimed that this was not the case, and that no-one died in these circumstances.

But in a volte-face in 1991, Blake said he regretted the deaths of the agents he had betrayed.

He spent the last 40 years of his life in Russia.