Revealed: Poisoned ex-Russian spy Litvinenko WAS a paid-up MI6 agent
The former Russian spy poisoned in a London hotel was an MI6 agent, the Daily Mail can reveal.
Alexander Litvinenko was receiving a retainer of around £2,000 a month from the British security services at the time he was murdered.
The disclosure, by diplomatic and intelligence sources, is the latest twist in the Litvinenko affair, which has plunged relations between London and Moscow to their lowest point since the Cold War.
On the day of the poisoning, November 1, former KGB agent Mr Litvinenko met prime suspect Andrei Lugovoy at the Millennium Hotel in Grosvenor Square, London.
Mr Lugovoy claims that Mr Litvinenko tried to recruit him to supply information to MI6.
The businessman, another former KGB agent, also alleged that his ex-colleague asked him to find candidates for political asylum here. He left Britain for Russia soon after, and has never returned.
Mr Litvinenko had defected to Britain in 2000 and was granted political asylum the following year with his wife Marina, 44, and son Anatoly, 12. It is understood that Sir John Scarlett, now the head of MI6 and once based in Moscow, was involved in recruiting him to the Secret Intelligence Service.
The fact that the 43-year-old ex-Russian spy was actually working for Britain when he died could provide the key to his extraordinary killing.