Former British Defence Secretary, Liam Fox.
Liam Fox said Syria action was inevitable Reuters

Russia is planning to use London Olympics 2012 as cover to flood Britain with spies, Liam Fox has said.

The former Defence Secretary has also warned that Britain is powerless to prevent some "very unsavoury individuals" entering the country under the guise of protecting Russia''s Olympic team.

Fox, who was forced to resign in October, is one of the most senior politicians to speak publicly about the threat to Britain from Russia's alleged resurgent espionage activity, a report in the Daily Mail has said. Due to his previous position, he had access to highly classified intelligence material.

Following the remark, the Kremlin accused Fox of "paranoia".

The Tory MP has made another controversial remark about the cost of the Games. He said he believes that the Trident nuclear programme was better value for money.

"We face a very large number of FSB agents (the KGB's successor organisation) coming to London during the Olympics, including some very unsavoury individuals," the former minister said while addressing the Hammersmith and Fulham Conservatives' conference.

"There's no way we can do anything about that. When the Russians decide they have to send people to protect their team, they'll choose a very large number of FSB people to do that.

"London's going to be an interesting place next summer," he claimed.

His remarks come amid last week's rejection by an immigration panel of MI5's claim that Russian parliamentary researcher Katia Zatuliveter was a 'honeytrap' spy placed in the office of Liberal Democrat defence expert Mike Hancock.

The newspaper has quoted one former British diplomat as saying: "There is an issue here of ensuring that the Olympics do not become an excuse for clandestine operations."

"We are not concerned about his opinion. That is typical paranoia," Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, said reacting to Fox's claims.

The former minister, who resigned over his links with lobbyist friend Adam Werritty, also asked why he was criticised for spending £20 billion on replacing Trident - which "gives 35 years of protection" to the country - while no one objected to "spending £13 billion on the Olympics for three weeks".