Marjorie Thompson

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Person.png Marjorie Thompson LinkedInRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(activist, propagandist, spook?)
Marjorie Thompson.png
NationalityUS, UK
Alma materWoodrow Wilson High School, Colorado College, London School of Economics and Political Science
PartnerDafydd Elis-Thomas
Member ofBritish-American Project
Chairwoman of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament with next job in Margaret Thatcher's favorite PR-agency Saatchi & Saatchi. Suspected of working with the CIA. British-American Project.

Employment.png Parliamentary officer & Vice chair and Chair

In office
1983 - 1993
EmployerCampaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Suspected of working with the CIA

Marjorie Ellis Thompson was "a doyenne of the Left who was chairwoman of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), as well as a leading light at the Commission for Racial Equality, has moved to a senior job with the advertising agency that helped the Conservative Party win four general elections."[1]

Some former friends think that she secretly worked with the CIA while at the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.


Thompson grew up in Long Beach, California "from an impeccably WASP-Republican background".[2] She was educated at The Colorado College where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in History. She completed her MSc in West European Politics at the London School of Economics.[3]

After a stint as assistant to a hardline Republican Congressman Gerald Solomon, went to Britain and soon joined theCampaign for Nuclear Disarmament, rising to be chair of that body.[4]

In the 1980s, she was in a relationship with Dafydd Elis-Thomas (later became Lord Elis-Thomas), President of the Welsh party Plaid Cymru 1984-1991.[5][4][6]

After leaving the CND in 1993, she worked for the Commission for Racial Equality, before joining the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchiin 19997. She was a participant in the World Economic Forum's 2000 summit. She joined the Conservative Party in 2009.[7][8]

British-American Project and the CIA

Not that many people moved from Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament to Saatchi & Saatchi.

“Another Labour figure who has had an experience with the BAP is Emma Dent Coad who was the party’s first ever MP for Kensington, serving from 2017-19, and is now leader of the Labour Group on the borough’s council. 

She told Declassified that a friend who was a senior official in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) tried to recruit her to the BAP in the 1980s. Coad later found out this person “worked with the CIA”.  At the time, the US government had, according to an official memo leaked to the Washington Post, initiated a "propaganda exercise in Britain, aimed at neutralising the efforts of CND".

“In the late 80s, I was a journalist working in design and architecture and very busy at the time, travelling around a lot and writing for various magazines,” Coad told us. “At the time, a local friend who was senior in CND started talking to me about this project that she was involved in." "She basically said that if I was able to go to Washington and give a talk about the work I was doing, I’d have a lovely dinner, it would all be paid for, and then I’d be part of this international group who were just trying to improve life," Coad added. “Then I would be part of that group forever and I’d be invited to things periodically, and it would give me a really good profile."

Coad thought about it and discussed it with her then husband. "But I just felt there was something a bit smelly about it frankly,” she says. “It didn’t ring true, something so generous just for me being there, so I politely declined." 

“Later I found out what the British-American Project was all about," she adds. “Then I found out a couple of years later that this friend – who had by then moved out of the area and I’d lost contact with her – worked with the CIA, and I was absolutely appalled."

Coad says she was good friends with the husband of the alleged CIA operative, and that he told her she was working for the agency as soon as he found out. 

"There was something not quite right. I was just a jobbing journalist really, in a faintly glamorous environment, why would I be of interest to this international group?"

But Coad can understand why she was a target. "I’ve always been a socialist, I always had those values from school,” she says. “I was political at college, at university, I had roles in the unions, I’d always been political. So clearly she knew that."

She adds: “I started writing a book on Spanish design architecture, so I was busy, and I think my stock was rising at the time. The recruiter was very prominent in CND, which I supported.”

After Coad was told about the CIA connection "it began to drop into place," she says. Coad then looked up the recruiter who had moved on from CND to PR firm Saatchi & Saatchi, which has funded the BAP. 

“I thought, ‘that’s interesting, a bit of a leap from what they were doing before’. I thought it was very strange that they would go from CND to working for a right-wing advertising agency, so it rang true, and I believed it.””
Emma Dent Coad,  Matt Kennard [9]