LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s foreign spy agency will allow the children of immigrants to join the organisation for the first time and will launch its first ever TV advert.
Alex Younger, the chief of MI6 known as “C”, is scrapping a rule that new recruits must have two British-born parents and they will now only need to be British born.
The service is on a recruitment drive aimed at women with children and black and minority ethnic candidates to bolster the service’s diversity.
“I want this opportunity to dispel the myths that still too often see potential candidates rule themselves out,” Younger told reporters. “My message remains simple: there is no ‘standard’ Ml6 officer: if you have what it takes, then apply to join us.”
The change comes as MI6, whose greatest fictional agent is James Bond, launches the first TV advert in its 109-year history on Thursday evening. The advert shows a mother and her young child watching a shark in an aquarium.
“We are intelligence officers but we don’t do what you think. It is not keeping your cool in the shark tank, it is picking up the silent cues that matter,” the voice over in the advert says.
It ends: “MI6 – secretly we are just like you.”
Reporting By Andrew MacAskill; editing by Michael Holden