Britain's domestic intelligence agency is actively recruiting gay spies and encouraging its staff to be more open about their sexuality, the Financial Times reported Monday.
The chief executive of Stonewall, a gay rights lobby group, told the business daily it had been hired by the Security Service -- better known as MI5 -- to help the agency encourage more gay applicants for positions.
"Historically, public services were delivered by the man from the ministry, who was white and heterosexual and got the 4:30 pm (train) back to Tunbridge Wells every afternoon," Ben Summerskill said.
"This (move by MI5) is recognition that the establishment is changing and slowly becoming more reflective of wider society."
Britain's intelligence agencies have in recent years attempted to cast a wider net when it comes to recruiting -- the country's foreign intelligence service MI6 placed its first-ever advertisement for jobs in a newspaper in May 2007, and in recent years, it has launched its own website.
Separately, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), Britain's intelligence listening post, has embedded advertisements into popular video games in a bid to attract tech-savvy recruits.