“The director of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, is to stand down early for personal reasons, mainly health issues involving his wife and other family members.
Hannigan only took over at the UK’s surveillance agency in November 2014 to oversee a more open approach after revelations by the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden put GCHQ on the defensive in 2013.
His sudden resignation – he informed staff just hours before making this decision public – prompted speculation that it might be related to British concerns over shared intelligence with the US in the wake of Donald Trump becoming president.
But the GCHQ press release stressed his decision was exclusively for family reasons. As well as his ill wife, Hannigan has two elderly parents to look after. He will remain in post until a successor is appointed.” (Read more: The Guardian, 1/23/2017)