McGuinness spy claims rejected by publisher five months ago

Ex-intelligence officer Martin Ingram approached a UK-based publisher alleging that Martin McGuinness was a British agent, but was rejected because of lack of evidence. John Byrne reports

Martin Ingram, the former British military intelligence officer who alleged in the Sunday World that Martin McGuinness was a British agent, approached a UK-based book publisher with the same allegations in early February this year. However, the publisher decided not to publish after the journalist who was asked to write the book was not satisfied that Martin Ingram had any substantial proof to support his claims.

Martin Ingram also approached a number of other publishers with the allegation and now claims that he has secured a book deal.

On 28 May, the Sunday World published Martin Ingram's claim that Martin McGuinness was working as a British agent for MI6, the British military intelligence organisation, while operating at the top echelon of the provisional republican movement.

Martin McGuinness dismissed the allegations as "a load of hooey". He said he was a "million per cent certain" that no evidence would emerge to support the allegation, and claimed that the DUP was behind the story.

Martin Ingram is an alias for Jack Grantham, a former senior member of the Force Research Unit (FRU), a well-resourced and controversial branch of British military intelligence. It was one of the most important parts of the British government's security strategy in Northern Ireland in the 1980s and 1990s, allegedly running agents such as Brian Nelson and Freddie Scappaticci, who was allegedly known as "Stakeknife".

Martin Ingram was central to 'exposing' Freddie Scappaticci as a double agent. Freddie Scappaticci denied the allegations and fled his home in Belfast.

?More: Martin Ingham's blog: