MI6 job ad for new tech chief 'Q' has two COMMAS added after error

You Only Slip-Up Twice! MI6 job ad for new tech chief ‘Q’ has two COMMAS quietly added to recruitment firm’s online listing… 24 hours after embarrassing error was exposed

  • The ad mistakenly suggested that the spy organisation works to harm Britain
  • It said MI6 has the ability to ‘disrupt activity to promote the UK’s interests’ 
  • Advert was released by recruitment agency Saxton Bampfylde
  • Today, two commas were added to the line in question to remove confusion 
  • Official job title is ‘Director General Q’ – they will head up MI6’s technology unit 

A job advert for MI6’s new tech chief which appeared to suggest the spy organisation works against Britain’s interests has quietly been corrected today. 

MailOnline spotted the error and contacted Saxton Bampfylde, the recruitment agency which issued the ad.

Today, two commas were added to the line in question to remove any doubt about its meaning.

It now reads: ‘We have the ability to disrupt activity, to promote the UK’s interests, which we do through human intelligence, legal and proportionate cyber activity and deploying clandestine operational technology.

MI6’s real tech chief is named after the fictional gadgetmaster in the James Bond franchise. He was most famously portrayed by Desmond Llewelyn.   

The new man or woman who takes up the real role will be one of the deputies to MI6 chief Richard Moore, who is known as ‘C’.   

The successful applicant will ‘turn disruptive technologies from threats to our operations into opportunities’, the advert adds. 

MI6 is officially known as the Secret Intelligence Service.  

CORRECTED AD: A job advert for MI6’s new tech chief which appeared to suggest the spy organisation works to harm Britain has quietly been corrected. The advert, for ‘Director General Q’, said when it was released yesterday that MI6 has the ability to ‘disrupt activity to promote the UK’s interests

YESTERDAY’S VERSION: MailOnline spotted the error and contacted Saxton Bampfylde, the recruitment agency which issued the ad. Today, two commas were added to the line in question to remove any doubt about its meaning

In the job advert, MI6 tell would-be applicants: ‘You are Q’ 

‘More formally, you are Director General Q, one of the deputies to the Chief of MI6 (C).

‘MI6 needs to be at the cutting-edge of technology in order to stay ahead.

‘As Q you are responsible for the teams who create and adopt technologies to enable our mission against the UK’s hardest adversaries.

‘You turn disruptive technologies from threats to our operations into opportunities, putting MI6 at the leading edge of digital innovation.’

Potential candidates must be a ‘senior, entrepreneurial leader, with experience leading a cutting-edge digital, technology or engineering business’.

They must also be ‘passionate about bringing real value and benefit to the UK’s National Security, and will demonstrate integrity, courage and determined delivery’.

Applicants can only discuss their wish to apply with a partner or close family member as ‘discretion is an essential factor in the recruitment process’.

The job advert concludes: ‘Security considerations impose limitations on travel and other personal activities, as well as a lifelong duty of confidentiality.’

The introduction containing the apparent error originally said: ‘MI6 is the UK’s Foreign Intelligence service. 

‘We work secretly to gather intelligence from people and organisations. 

Whilst the technology expert portrayed most famously by Desmond Llewelyn (pictured) in the Bond franchise is of course fictional, now you have the chance to be the real ‘Q’

The advert error was the kind of thing the hapless Mr Bean would do. Pictured: Rowan Atkinson as the fictional error-prone buffoon

‘We exist to keep the country safe and promote our interests and values overseas, giving the British Government privileged insight into the thoughts of the UK’s adversaries. 

‘We have the ability to disrupt activity to promote the UK’s interests, which we do through human intelligence, legal and proportionate cyber activity and deploying clandestine operational technology.’ 

In an extremely rare interview with Times Radio, the current C Richard Moore said technology was on the top of their considerations of moving the intelligence organisation forward.

He said: ‘We are in an increasingly contested, difficult world where technology is making what we do for a living more of a challenge.

‘We have to use and harness technology and the only we can do that, I think, is with good leadership and somebody who can help us partner with the private sector.’

While the character in James Bond has always been male, MI6 has said a previous holder of the position of Q was a woman.

Alex Younger, the previous chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, said at a Woman In IT conference in 2017: ‘If any of you would like to join us,..the real-life Q is looking forward to meeting you and I’m pleased to report that the real-life Q is a woman.’

Applications must be received by May 26 this year.

General view of the Secret Intelligence Service building in Vauxhall, London

The Foreign Office, which deals with media inquiries on behalf of MI6, have been approached for comment by MailOnline.

Saxton Bampfylde have also been approached for comment about the advert error.  

The advert comes after last year’s publication of a book about the secret World War Two organisation MI9, or ‘Military Intelligence 9’. 

The book, MI9: A History Of The Secret Service For Escape And Evasion In World War Two, was by Helen Fry.

The body was set up in 1939 and worked to support airmen and prisoners in finding their way home from behind enemy lines. 

Experts employed by MI9 designed countless gadgets including pencil cameras, daggers hidden in pens, and wire saws hidden in shoe laces.

RAF men were also given special ‘escape boots’ which were fitted with hollow heels containing silk maps, a compass, a file and knife. 

The knife could be used to cut away the ankle section of the boots, creating normal black shoes which might pass as civilian footwear.   

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