Lancing College, Lancing BN15 0RW, Regno Unito
University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 2JD, Regno Unito
Thomas Edward Neil Driberg, Baron Bradwell (22 May 1905 – 12 August 1976) was a British journalist, politician, High Anglican churchman and possible Soviet spy, who served as a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1942-55, and again from 1959-74. A member of the Communist Party of Great Britain for more than twenty years, he was first elected to parliament as an Independent, and joined the Labour Party in 1945. He never held any ministerial office, but rose to senior positions within the Labour Party and was a popular and influential figure in left-wing politics for many years.
The son of a retired colonial officer, Driberg was educated at Lancing and Christ Church, Oxford. After leaving the university without a degree, he attempted to establish himself as a poet before joining the Daily Express as a reporter, later becoming a columnist. In 1933 he began the "William Hickey" society column, which he continued to write until 1943. He was later a regular columnist for the Co-operative Group newspaper Reynold's News and for other left-leaning journals. He wrote several books, including biographies of the press baron Lord Beaverbrook and the Soviet spy Guy Burgess. He retired from the House of Commons in 1974, and was subsequently raised to the peerage as Baron Bradwell, of Bradwell juxta Mare in the County of Essex.
Driberg made no secret of his homosexuality, which he practised throughout his life despite its being a criminal offence in Britain until 1967; his ability to avoid any consequences for his risky and often brazen behaviour baffled his friends and colleagues. Always in search of bizarre experiences, Driberg befriended at various times the occultist Aleister Crowley and the Kray twins, along with honoured and respected figures in the worlds of literature and politics. He combined this lifestyle with an unwavering devotion to Anglo-Catholicism. After his death, allegations were published about his role over many years as an MI5 informant, a KGB agent, or both. The extent and nature of Driberg's involvement with these agencies remain uncertain.
BACK TO HOME PAGE