The former British spy who allegedly compiled a 'dirty' dossier smearing Donald Trump has been revealed.
Ex-MI6 man Christopher Steele is reported to be the source of a salacious file alleging the Kremlin had compromising evidence about Mr Trump's sex life, that it planned to use to blackmail him.
Yesterday, Mr Trump called the dossier, alleged to have been handed to US Senator John McCain by a former British ambassador, 'fake' and 'phony' and Moscow has dismissed the claims as 'utter nonsense.'
Mr Steele, 52, is said to be an expert in intelligence analysis and counter-terrorism and sources say he once worked with murdered Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.
He is now the director of a private security and investigations firm called Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, run out of plush offices in Belgravia, central London.
The involvement of a former British intelligence officer and ambassador is embarrassing for the Government with Theresa May under pressure to reassure the President-elect that the UK had nothing to do with the 35-page briefing.
The British security services had originally tried to block UK news organisations from naming Mr Steele by issuing a D-notice, which prevents the revelation of certain information for security reasons.
Mr Steele has now fled his home in Surrey, in fear of a backlash from the Kremlin and sources say he is 'terrified for his safety'.
In recent weeks, the former spy declined requests for interviews through an intermediary, who said the subject was 'too hot', reports the Wall Street Journal.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said the timing of the allegations pointed towards an effort to smear Mr Trump just nine days before he takes over in the Oval Office.
He told MailOnline: 'The question is why has this story come out now? Everything happens for a reason. Most things happen for a reason.
'It already appears to be unravelling. Someone's released the story… I'm sure the source will be revealed in time.'
Conservative backbencher Nigel Evans told MailOnline: 'It looks like this originated at a time when somebody was trying to undermine his bid for the presidency.
'There was enough stuff that did come out, enough revelations about things that he said – some of which probably did damage his candidacy – that I would thought if there was anything there (in this dossier) it would have emerged.
'Trump is denying it. Putin is denying it. It seems to be one of these fake news things.'
Fellow MP Michael Fabricant said: 'I can well understand the President-Elect's concerns over these stories as they seek to delegitimise his election to President. There are some in the United States who would like to see a re-run of their General Election as part of an anti-Trump campaign.