Support the work we do...

Hexham Book Festival Hexham Book Festival

Alex Grant – Sex, Spies and Scandal – The John Vassal Affair

  • Sunday 5 May, 12.45pm
  • Tickets From £9
  • Hexham Library
Alex Grant Bw2014 1600.Jpg

An explosive tale of sexual violence, betrayal, cover-up, homophobia and hypocrisy that blows open some of the British establishment’s darkest secrets.

Sex, Spies and Scandal is the story of John Vassall, the civil servant unmasked as a Soviet spy in 1962.

Photographed in compromising positions while working at the British embassy in Moscow, Vassall was blackmailed into handing over secrets from the Admiralty to his Soviet handlers, both in Moscow and in London, for more than seven years. Using newly released MI5 files and interviews with people who knew Vassall from the 1950s until his death in 1996, Alex Grant sheds fresh light on the neglected spy scandal of the early 1960s.  

It has everything, a honey trap, industrial-scale espionage, journalists jailed for not revealing their sources and the first modern tabloid witch-hunt, which resulted in a ministerial resignation and almost brought down Harold Macmillan's government.

Chaired by Simon Pryde.

Concession prices: available to Friends of the Festival, those on benefits and students.

Carers qualify for free ‘essential companion’ tickets. Wheelchair spaces are limited. Please book for both directly at the Queen’s Hall Box Office.

Get 15% discount off your booking if you buy tickets for four or more different events (not including workshops). Must be in a single transaction and can't be applied retrospectively.

To read Hexham Book Festival’s privacy policy, click here. 

Book a table and receive 10% off dining at The Beaumont Hotel on presentation of your ticket.

HBF Logo Blue CMYK

Back to top