The first biography of Airey Neave, Colditz escapee, MI6 officer, mastermind of Margaret Thatcher’s leadership campaign and on the verge of being her first Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he was brutally murdered in the palace of Westminster by the INLA.
On 30 March 1979 for the first time in more than 100 years an MP was killed by a car bomb in the precincts of the House of Commons. Airey Neave was a loyal Tory backbencher who had last held ministerial office in 1959. What, then, had he done to deserve such a vicious and bloody attack?
Public Servant, Secret Agent tells the thrilling tale of Neave’s escape from Colditz, his involvement with the secret services and his shadowy role at the right of the Conservative party. With new information about the mysterious circumstances surrounding Neave’s death, Paul Routledge has written a captivating and revealing life of a man who was the ghost in the establishment.
Reviews of Public Servant, Secret Agent: The elusive life and violent death of Airey Neave (Text Only)
- ‘Paul Routledge represents Airey Neave as an honourable man who acted through his life in accord with his convictions, but also as a natural plotter whose instinct for conspiracy led him down mysterious paths to that agonising death…vivid.’ Douglas Hurd, Guardian
- ‘A sensational book.’ Mail on Sunday
- ‘This book produces new evidence, or at least confirmation, about Airey Neave’s death and the terrorist leaders who ordered it.’ William Hague, Sunday Telegraph
- ‘A spendid yarn, and Routledge tells it vividly.’ Anthony Howard, Sunday Times
- ‘Mesmerising…a comprehensive exposition of conspiracy theories surrounding Neave’s death…lively narratives of his wartime heroics…a sensitive treatment of Neave’s years in exile…Routledge’s portrait is more one of extraordinary human achievement than everyday politics.’ Independent on Sunday
- ‘Brings together in one volume a great deal about the life of Airey Neave that has hitherto been scattered in several books, and it also sheds new light on his death.’ Norman Tebbit, New Statesman