Former spies who received six-figure redundancy pay-offs have been re-employed by MI6 to tackle the heightened terror threat facing the UK.
Three MI6 officers who received compensation packages are among 73 spies to be rehired by the service in a £1.2 billion scramble to reverse staff cuts.
The Government's top secret listening station, GCHQ, has rehired 200 former employees while MI5 has taken on just seven former officers. But MPs have criticised the recruitment policy as "very poor value for money" which "highlight a lack of adequate skills planning."
Members of Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee said in their annual report: "Whilst it may always be necessary to re-hire some former staff in exceptional circumstances, this should be kept to a minimum given the potentially significant costs involved."