Douglas Thmopson - Author and International Journalist
Salman Rushdie

Author says book portrays him as 'mean and arrogant'

But this time the words are not his own but those of one of the special branch officers who protected him. And the Booker Prize-winning writer is so unhappy over what he sees as the book's libellous portrayal of him as "mean, nasty, tight-fisted, arrogant and extremely unpleasant" that he is threatening to sue its publishers. Read the rest...

 

 

On Her Majesty's Service - Ron Evans

RON EVAN'S was a police officer for 28 years, working on the beat in London before transferring into Special Branch providing armed protection for senior Government ministers and visiting world leaders. He is now employed by a private security company as a close protection officer and has worked in Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka.

“Before 9/11 we knew what we were doing and who we were facing. Now everybody wants to go to heaven, it’s a different and terrifying story ”

Meet Ron Evans. He’s a normal, laconic guy in his late-fifties, with an incredible and revealing story to tell. Ron spent fifteen years as a member of the ‘A Squad’, the Protection Officers of the Metropolitan Police Special Branch.

In his thirty-year career Ron has been flying by the seat of his pants. Equipped with what he describes as a ‘Boy Scout’s training’ by SO19, he was quickly sent onto the streets and into the firing line with a licence to kill. Charged with the personal protection of some of the world’s highest-profile figures politicians, businessmen, the cultural elite – expecting to ‘take a bullet’ day after day, armed with a shoot-to-kill policy and instinctive bravery, this exceptional man walked a deadly path throughout his career. He still does, as an international protection officer.

Many spies and politicians have told their stories before, but Ron is the first Protection Officer ever to break ranks. In his own intimate and frank words, Ron reveals the thrills, spills and despairs of his most high-profile assignments – two years spent guarding the controversial author Salman Rushdie during the ‘Satanic Verses’ fatwa; alone with Clare Short deep in Bin Laden territory in Pakistan, armed with only a Glock pistol and eighteen rounds of ammunition, just weeks after 9/11; and with the beautiful American Queen Noor of Jordan at the height of the Middle Eastern troubles.

Yet the story goes even deeper. He speaks in detail about very close political and operational secrets affecting the highest corridors of power – his years with Margaret Thatcher, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela and various Cabinet Ministers. Ron also exposes the massive problems within the police service and the ‘old boy’ network where nepotism rules over ability and experience.

From Downing Street to the White House and the perils of Afghanistan – all the while poorly armed and with little support from his superiors – Ron takes us on a terrifying ride with an outfit always charged with the most dangerous assignments. It’s an intense, intriguing and disturbing look into what has until now been…a very secret service.

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