The Zinoviev letter - Another Daily Mail/Tory Lie
Was one of the greatest British political scandals of the last century - it was forged by a MI6 agent's source and almost certainly leaked by MI6 or MI5 officers to the Conservative Party, It was then sold to the newspapers.
The Daily Mail printed the forged letter allegedly from the newly established Soviet Russian Government on 25th November, in order to cause maximum embarrassment and electoral damage to the first Labour government, days prior to the 1924 General election (Which Labour duly lost).
The extent of the Intelligence Services, Foreign office, and Conservative Party involvement in perpetrating the forgery was not fully known until the late Robin Cook Foreign Secretary ordered a report by chief historian Gill Bennett into the events.
Ken Livingston House of Commons 10th January 1996We all know about the Zinoviev letter, which led to the downfall of the first Labour Government in 1924. It is now believed to have been produced by two Russian emigres who were working in Berlin. They passed the forgery to an MI5 officer, Donald Thurn. Once in the hands of MI5, senior officials realised that its details of an alleged communist plot would be a devastating blow to the Labour Government in the closing days of the election campaign. MI5 leaked the letter to a Tory Member of Parliament and former intelligence officer, Sir Reginald Hall. It also leaked it to Tory central office and the Daily Mail, which obligingly ran it on its front page.
In the run-up to the 1929 election, the links between MI5 and the Tory party were renewed. The head of MI5's investigation branch, Major Joseph Ball, was employed by Conservative central office to run agents inside the Labour party. After the election, Ball was rewarded with the directorship of the Tories' research department.