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On Her Majesty’s (not-so) Secret Service: Liz Truss moves into Bond author Ian Fleming’s office

On Her Majesty’s (not-so) Secret Service: Trade Secretary Liz Truss moves into James Bond author Ian Fleming’s former office – but is accused of ‘massively wasteful vanity project’ for spending £38,000 on a PR film documenting the move

James Bond took on Britain’s Cold War enemies with the help of a regular supply of vodka martinis, his trusty Walther PPK and a healthy dose of dry humour.

Liz Truss is reaching out to Britain’s friends in the wake of Brexit with Scotch whisky, award-winning cheeses and agreeable free trade terms.

But the Trade Secretary and 007 do now have something more in common than vigorous patriotism and a mutual good eye for couture.

Ms Truss is to move into an office in the Old Admiralty building in Whitehall that was once used by Bond author Ian Fleming.

She is wielding her ‘licence to trade’ in Room 39, which housed the then Lieutenant Commander Fleming when he was part of Naval Intelligence during the Second World War.

She will be joined in the building off Horse Guards’ Parade by 2,000 departmental civil servants, brought together under one room from DIT’s dispersed former homes, the Telegraph reported.

But the move has already attracted some criticism. While not quite running to a movie budget a tender has gone out for a PR firm to produce a film about the move to the Old Admiralty Building (OAB), at a cost of £38,000 for six-weeks’ work.

Damian McBride, the Labour adviser who unearthed the tender, said: ‘The only way Liz Truss’s ”Licence to Trade” move to the Old Admiralty Building could look more like a massively wasteful vanity project is if taxpayers’ money was being used to make a film about it….Oh.’

Ms Truss is to move into an office in the Old Admiralty building in Whitehall that was once used by Bond author Ian Fleming.

She is wielding her 'licence to trade' in Room 39, which housed the then Lieutenant Commander Fleming when he was part of Naval Intelligence during the Second World War.

She is wielding her ‘licence to trade’ in Room 39, which housed the then Lieutenant Commander Fleming when he was part of Naval Intelligence during the Second World War.

Ian Fleming

Daniel Craig

A larger-than-life character who spent many years involved with the British Secret Service, Fleming (left)  often explained that his plots were taken from his own experiences, ‘no matter how bizarre they might seem’. )Right) Daniel Craig is to play Bond for the last time in No TRime To Die, which is due for release in September.

A larger-than-life character who spent many years involved with the British Secret Service, Fleming often explained that his plots were taken from his own experiences, ‘no matter how bizarre they might seem’.

As a result, his James Bond novels and short stories – and the phenomenally successful films that followed – are peppered with references to Fleming’s own exhilarating days in wartime naval intelligence and to the far-flung places he visited, as well as the personal traits, and even names, of some of his glamorous high society friends.

Fleming’s first biographer, John Pearson, wrote: ‘James Bond is not really a character in the books. He is a mouthpiece for the man who inhabits him, a dummy for himself to hang clothes on… to perform the dreams of violence and daring which fascinate his creator.’


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