Institute for Statecraft

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Group.png Institute for Statecraft  
(Deep state milieuCompanies House Endole Facebook Powerbase Twitter WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png 5
Institute for Statecraft HQ 2.jpg
The registered HQ of the group, an abandoned mill in Fife, Scotland.
UK Column
Institute for Statecraft logo.png
Formation23 November 2006
Founder• Christopher Nigel Donnelly
• Daniel Lafayeedney
• Lesley Simm
HeadquartersGateside Mills, Fife, Scotland, London
LeaderChristopher Nigel Donnelly
SubgroupsIntegrity Initiative
Interestsstatecraft, “Russian Propaganda”
Interest ofKit Klarenberg, Rogue Media Labs, Chris Williamson, Working Group on Syria Propaganda and Media
Founder ofIntegrity Initiative
SubpageInstitute for Statecraft/Activities
Institute for Statecraft/Control
Institute for Statecraft/Cover up
Institute for Statecraft/Director
Institute for Statecraft/Exposure
Institute for Statecraft/Projection
Institute for Statecraft/Purposes
Institute for Statecraft/Secrecy
Institute for Statecraft/Tor team
Membership• Kevin Abraham
• Eduard Abrahamyan
• Jack Agazarian
• Kamal Alam
• Diane Allen
• David Allfrey
• Jamal Al-Tahat
• Josh Arnold-Foster
• James Austin
• Barrie Axford
• Anne Bader
• Qique Badia-Masoni
• Helena Bennett
• Elaine Birch Ruffell
• William Bortrick
• Simon Bracey-Lane
• Robin Brims
• Ken Brower
• Audrius Butkevičius
• Samantha de Bendern
• Nicholas Chance
• Jonathan Chetwynd
• David Clark
• Sean Cronin
• Constance Cunningham
• Oleksandr Danylyuk
• Maria de Goeij
• Nicolas de Pedro
• Yusuf Desai
• Kingsley Donaldson
• Rob Dover
• Martin Dubbey
• Martin Edmonds
• Stewart Eldon
• Harold Elletson
• Dair Farrar-Hockley
• Perry Fawcett
• Maria Luisa Fichera
• Alex Finnen
• Anthony Fitzherbert
• Mark Galeotti
• Babak Ganji
• Francis Ghiles
• David Gilbertson
• Keir Giles
• Roger Golland
• David Gordon-Macleod
• Euan Grant
• Glen Grant
• Jim Greene
• Rafael Gude
• Tom Hardie-Forsyth
• Amalyah Hart
• Charles Hart
• Harry Hart
• Charlie Hatton
• Jon Hazel
• Chris Hernon
• Henry Hogger
• Henry Hornyold-Strickland
• Howard Inman
• Graham Jeal
• Harry Lawson Johnston
• Steve Johnson
• Phil Jolley
• Stephen Jolly
• Ren Kapur
• Dan Kaszeta
• Shima Keene
• Dmytro Kolomoiets
• Karel Kullamaa
• Daniel Lafayeedney
• Hector Lafayeedney
• Jean-Louis Lafayeedney
• Fatima Lahnait
• Julian Lindley-French
• Tom Lloyd
• Birgy Lorenz
• John Lough
• Jeff McCausland
• Rob McCusker
• Victor Madeira
• Jahan Mahmood
• Irene Martínez Fernández
• Peter Mason
• Phil Matthews
• Mungo Melvin
• Johanna Möhring
• Robert Murphy
• Piroska Nagy-Mohacsi
• Chris Nel
• Malik Niazi
• Ben Nimmo
• David McOwat
• Mike Packer
• Chris Prebensen
• Mark Pyman
• Hanif Qadir
• Tim Reilly
• Alan Riley
• Ben Robinson
• Murray Robinson
• Greg Rowett
• Malcolm Russell
• Enrique Sacau
• Keith Sargent
• Chris Scheurweghs
• Jon Searle
• Andy Settle
• Sebastian Seymour
• Raheem Shapi
• Jonathan Shaw
• James Sherr
• Louise Sherwood
• Andrew Shortland
• Lesley Simm
• Luis Simon
• Guy Spindler
• Lucy Stafford
• Ignas Stankovicius
• Hew Strachan
• Henry Strickland
• Celia Szusterman
• Yusuf Tai
• Tomas Tauginas
• Oliver McTernan
• Richard Titley
• Martin Tomaszewski
• Liz Wahl
• Alan Waldron
• Joseph Walker-Cousins
• Dan Ward
• William Wells
• Angela White
• James Wilson
• Mark Winlow
• Jason Wiseman
• Andrew Wood
The UK MoD/FCO funded group that ran the ironically named Integrity Initiative, exposed in 2018 by 'Anonymous' asan organ of the UK/Deep state

The Institute for Statecraft (IfS), formerly the Institute for Statecraft and Governance[1], is a UK deep state milieu founded in 2006 as a UK limited company[2] and later became the IfS. After receiving UK charitable status in 2009, it has received millions of pounds from the UK FCO and commercial organisations, although its website stated that “We are totally independent and impartial, not dependent on funding from political or government agencies, industrial interests, or any other source which might call our impartiality into question.” [3] It was exposed in November 2018 by the Integrity Initiative leak as a UK deep state propaganda outfit promoting a new cold war against Russia. Name lists reveal it to be staffed largely by spooks and/or deep state operatives. Nominally the Integrity Initiative (II) is a separate group, started by the IfS, but the group's own publications have used the two names interchangably[4] and one member bemoaned a "Lack of clear messaging, are we IFS or are we II."[5] The IfS continues to operate as of 2020 and hired new staff in 2019, although with a lower profile.

Own words

We never lobby, but we do not shirk from advocating specific policy choices, spreading good practice and promoting reform in the face of complacency or vested interest.[6]

“We engage only very discreetly with governments, based entirely on trusted personal contacts, specifically to ensure that they do not come to see our work as a problem, and to try to influence them gently, as befits an independent NGO operation like ours”
Institute for Statecraft (2 November 2018)  [7]

The group's website's about page stated in January 2019, just before it was taken down that the IfS was "an independent body dedicated to refreshing the practice of statecraft, to improving governance and to enhancing national security."[8] Its registration at the Scottish Charity Register stated that its objects were: "(1) To advance education in the fields of governance and statecraft, and in particular focussing on the leadership, direction, management and administration of public and private institutions, major organisations and other bodies (whether incorporated or otherwise), and the skills needed by those in authority within such institutions, organisations or bodies to enable them to deal effectively with current and future challenges particularly in respect of security (2) To advance human rights, conflict resolution and/or reconciliation and religious/racial/ethnic harmony, to promote equality and diversity, citizenship and community development, and to advance national and international security; and in particular through assisting governments (including emerging democracies and countries in transition) and other institutions, organisations or bodies (whether in the UK or abroad) to respond to the challenges posed by new developments in the world (whether social, political, economic or technological) and to develop and embed structures and institutions that reflect principles of best practice in governance and statecraft."[9]


The registered HQ, a mill in Scotland
The operational HQ, "possibly the most expensive basement in London."[10]

Craig Murray notes that it didn't take much detective work to locate the operational HQ. This seems to be the basement of the rather more stately 2 Temple Place, the former London mansion of William Waldorf Astor. Murray reports that "the rent is paid by the Ministry of Defence".[10]


Chris Donnelly deep state operative.jpg

When founded in November 2006 the Institute for Statecraft and Governance[11] had 3 directors:

Tom Lloyd was head of security from 2007-2010. The incomplete IfS staff list (right) has mostly been derived from combining the leaked documents with archived copies of the list of IfS fellows from their own website.[13][14]

Many of the older members in particular have connections to NATO, the Atlantic Council, the UK Army and to multiple deep state milieux[15] or have held senior positions in the UK government,[16], UK Army[17], NATO[18], the Atlantic Council[19] or NGOs.[20] At least one, Audrius Butkevičius, has been convicted of fraud. The group includes previously known members of intelligence agencies (such as Guy Spindler and Harold Elletson), some from SGMI and many more with spooky profiles. Foreign spooks include Dmytro Kolomoiets.

Some are entrepreneurs working in the areas with special relevance to The Deep State, such as "anti-terrorism" or "anti-corruption". Martin Dubbey set up Harod Associates, which carried out Project Iris, an analysis of how social media influenced European public perceptions about the Skripal Affair, for which the company was paid £12,000 by the II. Others have had, or continue to have, senior responsibilities in the UK establishment.[21]


Integrity Initiative Projection.png
Full article: Institute for Statecraft/Projection

The leaked documents suggest that the group is imbued by what might be called the "permanent war mentality" of Chris "we are at war" Donnelly[22]. As such, it consists not only of profiteers but also of "true believers", keenly "Defending Democracy" Against [Russian] Disinformation" by any and all available means.


Full article: Stub class article Institute for Statecraft/Activities
Strengthening Europe's 'soft' and 'hard' defence, a Chatham House rule meeting held at the Clingendael Institute, attended by at least 4 Institute for Statecraft members.[23]

The group operates mostly in Europe, although it has a lot of connections to other deep state operatives and is represented in deep state milieux worldwide.[24] A study of the leaked documents underlines not only the permanent war mentality which pervades the group, but also the (generally only implicit) assumption that it is willing and able to exert covert influence over both governments and citizens, an observation strengthened by the number of group members who are either memebrs of intelligence agencies or have backgrounds in psychological warfare.

Private meetings

Several of the leaked documents are "trip reports", detailing progress at fairly tightly scheduled unofficial meetings of which no public records exist. One step up from these totally private meetings are Chatham House rule (i.e. off-the-record) meetings with other groups, which have continued after the II leak.

Public conferences

Cold War Then and Now.jpg

The II has organised both public conferences and taken part at other events. These not only provide a chance to boost "awareness" about the putative threat posed by Russia, but also to sound out people in the unofficial edge of conferences. Some contact reports have been leaked. MI6 member Harold Elletson chaired a series of conferences on "terrorism", sometimes with other known or suspected deep state operatives (Security and Defence Learning/2010, for example, included by Chris Donnelly and Jeff McCausland, both fellow IfS members).

Integrity Initiative

Full article: Integrity Initiative
Ii logo strap 200.png

Quite a lot of the IfS' activity was carried out under the "Integrity Initiative" label, which carried the stated desire to fight "Russian Propaganda". The director Dan Kaszeta described the group in his "Notes for Israel" as “Not just a “think tank” offering yet another discussion forum but also a “do tank”.” [25] He added that "We have good contacts in government in UK and other governments (Argentina, Baltic States, Lithuania, etc.")[26]

The II organised secret "clusters" of like minded people who would follow instructions from London to promote a particular message (the first Integrity Initiative Leak includes a timeline of the groups efforts to interfere in the Spanish government's appointment of ). As with the IfS in general, a Russophobic perpetual war mentality appears to beset the II. One of the main criteria for inclusion in a "cluster" seems to be "awareness" of the "Russian threat". At least one of the documents makes explicit mention of the need to increase military spending. The leaked documents and the II/IfS publications make almost no mention of "peace".

Private businesses

At least 50 members have been business directors[27] and three pairs of IfS members have set up private businesses together[28]. Others have shared directorships on long established groups such as the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce. Some of the IfS directors set up a UK company named the "Council on Foreign Relations".


The group's influence appears to have been extensive.

Active Change Foundation

Full article: Active Change Foundation

In 2003 Hanif Qadir, "former extremist"[29] and IfS senior associate fellow, founded the Active Change Foundation, which worked closely with the IfS on "de-radicalisation". At least 3 other Active Change Foundation directors were also members of the IfS: David Gilbertson, Daniel Lafayeedney and Chris Donnelly.

"War on Terror"

Full article: Rated 4/5 “War on Terror”

Qadir is one of many IfS members with a financial stake in the "War on Terror". Some are professional "terror experts"[30] others have written about "terrorism" for decades[31].

Harold Elletson chaired, Security and Defence Learning‎‎, a series of annual "counter-terrorism" conferences, some of which involved other IfS members[32] and one of which involved an attendee of Le Cercle. Some have set up companies in this area. Others are academics or journalists who address this area. In 2018 the IfS had a "programme to develop discernment education for children of 9 and upwards, to keep them safe on-line and to protect them from disinformation and radicalisation".[26]

Corporate Media

Full article: Corporate Media/Deep state control

Several IfS members have been published in the BBC,[33] while others have worked for the BBC[34] and a leaked document| lists several BBC employees, another lists Helen Boaden, a former Director of BBC news. Another leaked document by Euan Grant wrote that the IfS has “particular links with the Times, Telegraph, Guardian and BBC TV and radio” but says that it needs to “strengthen” its relationship with the Mail.

EPIC (Ex Police in Industry and Commerce)

Full article: EPIC

EPIC (Ex Police in Industry and Commerce) is a "business networking organisation", founded in 2011. As of 2020, all the original directors had resigned, leaving at least 2/4 remaining directors as IfS members. IfS members include senior policemen.[35]

Campaign for the North

Full article: Stub class article Campaign for the North

The "Campaign for the North" was chaired by Harold Elletson, and its contributors and advisors included at least three other members of the Ifs (Chris Donnelly, David Gilbertson and Angela White).

"Anti corruption"

Keith Sargent led of the IfS' "Governance and Integrity Group" and was "a regular chairperson and speaker on an Anti-Corruption seminar programme at the International Centre for Parliamentary Studies."[36] Stewart Eldon worked as a Senior Adviser on Defence and Security Issues to Transparency International. A November 2018 IfS budget allocates over £12,000 for a plan "Through links with UK law enforcement and revenue organisations, anti corruption and development NGO's and journalistic organisations, [to] gain access to their European counterparts".[37] Senior associate fellows Mark Pyman and Philip Matthews also reported an interest in the areas of "anti-corruption".[38]


Full article: Stub class article Institute for Statecraft/Exposure

The Institute for Statecraft attracted a lot of interest in late 2018 after the first Integrity Initiative/Leak, which contained documents from an (apparent)[39] child group, the "Integrity Initiative". This was revealed not as the apolitical a multi-million pound charity it purported to be, but what David Miller termed "a military-directed push"[40] towards a New Cold War with Russia. He noted that operational HQ was a London basement both close to and paid for[41] by the UK MoD.[42]

Cover up

Full article: Institute for Statecraft/Cover up
Chris Williamson MP on 19 December 2018, after Daniel Lafayeedney slammed the door in his face.

After the first Integrity Initiative leak sparked interest by independent media, labour MP Chris Williamson went to investigate at their operational HQ in Temple. The image shown (right) is taken from a story by The Canary. Some names of IfS members were removed from their website after the leak.

On 22 January 2019, the Integrity Initiative "temporarily" deleted the entire contents of their website.[43] The Institute for Statecraft followed suit shortly afterwards. By 5 February 2019, the site content had been replaced by a coverpage which stated that "The website will be relaunched shortly. In the meantime, we expect to be able to publish an analysis of the hack and its significance in the near future." It also opened up the way to plausible deniability by claiming that some (unspecified) parts of the leaked data had been falsified.[44]

Media reporting

In March 2019 Sky News carried a brief article headlined What is the Institute for Statecraft thought to have been hacked by Russia? reported that "[t]he organisation, which describes itself as a think-tank and a do-tank, employs a small staff of about a dozen people. It also has about 90 Fellows, including a handful of individuals who have a background in British intelligence or the military so are experts in security and defence." It made no mention of the Integrity Initiative's member Simon Bracey-Lane working for the Bernie Sanders campaign or the smears against Jeremy Corbyn. It mentioned that the II "established a network in countries across Europe" but did not mention how it used that network to mount of a secretly coordinated social media campaign to prevent the appointment of Pedro Baños as Director of the Spanish Department of Homeland Security.[45]


Related Quotations

Integrity Initiative“We've temporarily removed all content from our website, pending an investigation into the theft of data from the Institute for Statecraft and the Integrity Initiative. The website will be relaunched shortly.”22 January 2019
Greg Rowett“spoke well and hit all the IfS points: peacetime mentality during war/Russian vocab all based on warfare/rate of change in society dramatic/need for universal glossary. Algorithms key – we need to start gaming these algorithms and put pressure onto the companies hosting these disinformation campaigns. Deliver message that we're willing and able to push back.”Simon Bracey-Lane
Greg Rowett
December 2017
University of Leicester““Following discussions in Leicester and London, the School of History, Politics and International Relations has concluded a Memorandum of Understanding with the Institute for Statecraft, an independent body dedicated to refreshing the practice of statecraft, improving governance and enhancing national security. Head of School, Dr George Lewis, said “This development is yet another example of the skill and standing of colleagues involved in our Distance Learning programmes, and is further recognition of the School's strengths in teaching, research and research-led teaching in the field of international politics and security.” In warmly welcoming the collaboration, Chris Donnelly and Dan Lafayeedney, the founding (sic)<a href="#cite_note-2">[2]</a> co-Directors of the Institute for Statecraft, stated that “it recognises the significant standing in which the Institute is held internationally by policy makers and decision takers of governments, development and security agencies, and private sector clients, and it reflects the unique blend of practice and authoritative research that the Institute’s Fellows and Associates are able to contribute”. Building upon the University’s links with UNITAR and both party’s links with NATO, this Memorandum of Understanding demonstrates the potential for the University of Leicester and the Institute for Statecraft to collaborate, share experience and develop opportunities that will have a direct impact on national and international policy-making.”UnknownDecember 2018
Zinc Network“Bringing together organisations including Zinc Network, the Institute for Statecraft, Aktis Strategy, Bellingcat, DFR Lab, the Media Diversity Institute, Toro Risk Solutions and Ecorys, our Consortium combines recognised market leaders in understanding, monitoring, and countering Kremlin-backed disinformation... This ecosystem of credible voices will continue to grow, exposing the actors and networks behind Kremlin-backed disinformation, reducing unwitting multipliers of disinformation, and building resilience amongst key target audiences across Europe.

We will mobilise a Network Hub based in London, led by an experienced Project Director, consisting of an agile team with core competencies augmented by a wider pool of vetted experts. Our approach is highly localised, based around regional clusters of actors who can collaborate to effectively undermine the disinformation

ecosystem in their respective areas and engage audiences most vulnerable to disinformation... It is a highly complex project involving coordination of many independent actors, and thus risk must be carefully managed and risk profiles constantly adapted, serving as the basis for all activity. The approach we propose is based on the identification, monitoring and management of risks as they materialise, allowing members to continue taking smart risks as they increase the scale and impact of their activities.”


Events Planned

Reframing RussiaUniversity of ManchesterAn IfS/II discussed project about "The RT Challenge" which was publicly launched in 2019, not under the II/IfS name.
Russia’s Strategy on NATO'S Eastern and Southern FlanksBarcelona Centre for International AffairsA CIDOB/The Institute for Statecraft/NATO meeting
Strengthening Europe's 'soft' and 'hard' defenceNetherlands
The Hague
Clingendael Institute
Chatham House rule meeting with organised by the Institute for Statecraft and the Clingendael Institute.


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Speaking notes for meetings in Israelspeaking notesJune 2018Dan KaszetaInstitute for Statecraft wants to build a relationship with the Israeli government
Document:The Institute for Statecraft Expert Team v 3name list13 December 2018Chris Donnellybiographies of core team members with lots of obscure but interesting former and present employers


5star.png 20 April 2019 Robin  An overview of this organ of the UK Deep state
  1. default:


  3. , 28 December 2018
  5. Integrity Initiative/Leak/4
  7. Document:Top 3 deliverables/achievements of phase 1
  10. a b
  11. a b c
  15. Keir Giles is a member of Chatham House and the Brookings Institute
  16. David Clark was Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
  17. Major General Jonathan Shaw
  18. Ben Nimmo was NATO Press officer
  19. Stewart Eldon was the UK Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Council and UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN
  20. Tom Lloyd chaired WhistleblowersUK.
  21. Elaine Birch Ruffell "Led assessment & disruption of narcotic trafficking from Afghanistan to Europe"
  22. Document:Establishing a modern perspective - Nation-State vs Network State
  23. Chris Donnelly, Maria de Goeij, Johanna Moehring, Alan Riley
  24. For example, the Integrity Initiative had Clusters in Australia, the US and Jordan
  25. Document:Speaking notes for meetings in Israel
  26. a b Document:Speaking notes for meetings in Israel
  27. Kevin Abraham, Jack Agazarian, David Allfrey, Samantha de Bendern, William Bortrick, Nicholas Chance, Oleksandr Danylyuk, Kingsley Donaldson, Robert Dover, Martin Dubbey, Stewart Eldon, Harold Elletson, Dair Farrar-Hockley, Perry Fawcett, Alexander Finnen, Anthony Fitzherbert, Mark Galeotti, Francis Ghilès, David Gilbertson, Roger Golland, David Gordon-Macleod, Harry Hart, Henry Hogger, Graham Jeal, Harry Lawson Johnston, Stephen Jolly, Ren Kapur, Dan Kaszeta, Shima Keene, Daniel Lafayeedney, Jean-Louis Lafayeedney, Tom Lloyd, John Lough, Jahan Mahmood, Philip Matthews, Oliver McTernan, Piroska Nagy-Mohacsi, Chris Nel, Hanif Qadir, Alan Riley, Elaine Birch Ruffell, Raheem Shapi, Andrew Shortland, Lesley Simm, Guy Spindler, Celia Szusterman, Yusuf Tai, Richard Titley, Joseph Walker-Cousins, Andy Wood
  28. Temple Strategic Advisory Ltd (Samantha de Bendern and Alan Riley), Astutus Intelligence (Philip Matthews and Martin Dubbey), Borley Investments (Harry Hart and, briefly, Jack Agazarian)
  30. Dan Kaszeta, Shima Keene, Fatima Lahnait, Hanif Qadir, Lesley Simm, Richard Titley, Jason Wiseman
  31. Francis Ghilès‎‎
  32. Security and Defence Learning/2010
  33. Jamal Al-Tahat, Chris Donnelly, Keir Giles, Francis Ghilès, Dan Kaszeta, Louise Sherwood, Hew Strachan
  34. Stephen Dalziel, Chris Hernon
  35. Perry Fawcett, David Gilbertson, Tom Lloyd
  37. Document:Integrity_Initiative_Budget_for_the_12_months_ending_31_March_2019
  39. The distinction between the two groups seems in practice to be rather moot