The spy in charge of the UK’s Covid threat level: Head of terror, who was Boris Johnson’s friend to Eton and is the son of ex-foreign secretary Tory, has been drafted to assess the public and warn of virus risks
- Tom Hurd is Director General at the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism,
- The 54-year-old will establish a Joint Biosecurity Center that will use a new alert system
- UK is now at level four of the five-tier system, just below the ‘most critical’ threat
- Oxford trained Mr. Hurd is the son of former Secretary of State Douglas Hurd
- Here’s how you can help people affected by Covid-19
One of Britain’s top anti-terrorist officials will take control of the country’s new biosafety center, which will monitor the threat level of the coronavirus.
Tom Hurd, 54, director general at the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism, will set up the new Joint Biosecurity Center, which will manage the Covid-19 alert system.
The UK is currently at level four of the five-tier system, just below the ‘most critical’ threat – the kind that the NHS is said to have engulfed in virus cases.
Tom Hurd, 54, is currently Director General at the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism
The UK is currently at level four of the five-tier system, just below the ‘most critical’ threat
Mr. Hurd, the son of former Conservative Secretary of State Douglas Hurd, 90, is also in the race to become the next MI6 chief, the report said. Financial times.
He has been responsible for the counter-terrorism strategy since 2016 and is a potential candidate to replace Alex Younger when he retires from MI6 later this year.
A Whitehall official told Mr. Hurd’s FT, “He is a very high-ranking official and it is important that someone of his caliber was brought in.”
His current role within the Home Office means that he is responsible for the government’s strategy, policy and legislative response to terrorist threats.
Mr. Hurd is the son of former Conservative Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd (pictured in 2014)
Another government official added, “Given his expertise, he is the best person in government to set up this work, but will return to the Home Office.”
Former investment banker Mr. Hurd is an expert in the Middle East and is also a former member of the British team, associated with the United Nations security team.
In addition, he was a former contemporary of Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Eton College and Oxford University, where he studied business in the Middle East.
Before joining Foreign Affairs in 1992, he worked for Credit Suisse First Boston.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the UK on Sunday from 10 Downing Street in London
But his life was hit by a tragedy in May 2011 when his wife Catherine, 46, collapsed four floors to her death from the roof of her New York City home.
Police said at the time that she was found “unresponsive to serious trauma” on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, but her death was not considered suspicious.
On Sunday, Johnson used his historic speech to the nation to suggest that the country was now moving towards level three of the coronavirus threat level.
The further the Covid alert level ladder approaches the country, the more lockdown measures can be relaxed.
Mr. Hurd is a potential candidate to replace Alex Younger (pictured during an interview in December 2018) when he steps down as chief of MI6 later this year
The prime minister said, “We are in the process of setting up a new Covid warning system operated by a new Joint Biosecurity Center. And that Covid warning level is mainly determined by R and the number of coronavirus cases.
And, in turn, that Covid alert level will tell us how hard we need to be in our social distance measures – the lower the level, the fewer measures. The higher the level, the harder and stricter we will have to be. There are five warning levels.
Level one means the disease is no longer present in the UK and level five is the most critical – the kind of situation we could have had if the NHS was overwhelmed.
“During the lockdown period, we were at level four, and thanks to your sacrifice, we are now able to progress to level three.”