Edward Snowden

Head of GCHQ To Step Down

Foreign office says the move has nothing to do with the Snowden revelations

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The Foreign Office confirmed that the head of GCHQ, the British spy agency at the centre of the Edward Snowden leaks controversy, is to stand down.

The departure of Sir Iain Lobban, 53, who has been GCHQ director since July 2008, was being presented by the government as a long-planned move rather than being linked to the Snowden row.

The Foreign Office said: "Iain Lobban is doing an outstanding job as director GCHQ. Today is simply about starting the process of ensuring we have a suitable successor in place before he moves on as planned at the end of the year."