Efforts by a British man to forge close links between Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists and the Gestapo were exposed in secret intelligence papers released this week by the National Archive.
In 1935, London-born Arthur Perry, who was fluent in German, offered his services as a “liaison” for senior BUF official William Joyce, later infamous as Nazi broadcaster Lord Haw Haw. The offer was rejected but it was enough to attract the interest of the Secret Service.
The files show that “secret channels” tipped off MI5 that Perry, rejected by Joyce, had then approached a Nazi official in London and “offered his services as an agent for the Gestapo”.
Again, he was turned down, ironically because the Nazis believed he could be an agent provocateur.
By the beginning of the war, Perry was in Germany and was interned. Reports given to British intelligence by escaped internees showed that he was far from popular. They described him as a “stool-pigeon, informer and betrayer”, said an MI5 report.
After his release, Perry worked for Nazi magazines The Camp and The Signal, and was suspected of broadcasting Nazi propaganda to Britain on the radio station Radio National.
A Home Office file on “renegades and persons convicted of assisting the enemy”, also alleged that he was “suspected of working for the Gestapo and the German secret service.”