MI5 handed over a file on John Lennon to the FBI during the Nixon administration in the early 1970s, it has been revealed.
It is believed the MI5 file contains claims that Lennon helped to fund a Trotskyist group, the Workers Revolutionary Party (supported by actress Vanessa Redgrave) and gave money to Red Mole, a Marxist magazine edited by Tariq Ali. Tariq Ali denies receiving money from Lennon.
The revelations occurred following a US court order forcing the FBI to release two letters and notes from a telephone conversation.
In another twist, former MI5 officer, David Shayler claims that John Lennon gave money to the official IRA before it split in the early 1970s, when the Provisional IRA was formed.
Lennon‘s outspoken left-wing views and appearance at marches in Britain made him a target of the US and UK establishment who were alarmed by his influence. After Bloody Sunday on 30 January 1972, Lennon responded by saying: “If it’s a choice between the IRA and the British army, I am with the IRA.” He also dedicated the song ‘Luck Of The Irish’ from the ‘Sometime In New York City’ album to the victims of Bloody Sunday – proceeds were donated to the Irish civil rights movement.
The last release of FBI files about Lennon contained trivial information including one note about a friend of Lennon‘s who had a parrot that squawked “right on” whenever the conversation got rousing.