Sir Christopher Meyer, the previous UK ambassador to Washington and press secretary to John Main, has died on the age of 78 after struggling a stroke within the French Alps. He was together with his spouse, Catherine, on the time.
Meyer was ambassador throughout some of the turbulent durations of UK relations with the US. After leaving the diplomatic service he took up the position of chair of the Press Complaints Fee.
He joined the Overseas Workplace in 1966 and had postings to Moscow, Madrid and Brussels. After a spell as press secretary to Main, the then prime minister, between 1993 and 1996, Meyer was briefly appointed as ambassador to Germany earlier than being despatched to Washington by Tony Blair in 1997.
His unusually lengthy stint on the coronary heart of the particular relationship spanned the tip of the Clinton administration and the assaults on the World Commerce Middle in September 2001. He was Blair’s interlocutor with the George W Bush administration through the invasion of Afghanistan and the run-up to the Iraq conflict.
He claimed he was instructed by Blair’s chief of employees, Jonathan Powell, “to rise up the arse of the White Home and keep there”. Bush’s nationwide safety adviser Condoleezza Rice grew to become his tennis companion, reflecting his appeal and talent to flow into throughout the political spectrum.
Regardless of having been given the job as ambassador by Blair, he informed the inquiry into the UK invasion of Iraq led by Sir John Chilcott that he believed the prime minister’s relationship with Bush grew to become so shut that he in impact gave a clean cheque for the president to press forward with the invasion.
He informed the inquiry there was “a big chunk of time” when Bush and Blair have been in impact alone on the Crawford summit in Texas in April 2002.
He stated there have been clues to Blair’s pondering in a speech he gave within the US at the moment talking of regime change.
In his autobiography, DC Confidential, he grew to become extra important of the Blair modus operandi, and of a few of Blair’s cupboard ministers together with the then overseas secretary, Jack Straw. He described Straw as a B-list politician extra to be preferred than admired. His critics within the Blair administration later stated he had thrown a wobbly as a result of he had been excluded from important conferences.
Well-known for his crimson socks, Meyer as press secretary tried to mission the Main administration at a time when the Conservative authorities was falling partly as a result of sleaze.
He was married to Catherine Meyer, the founding father of the charity Mother and father and Kidnapped Youngsters Collectively. Her German ex-husband had refused to let her kids return from vacation, resulting in an extended authorized battle. In 2020 she was appointed because the prime minister’s commerce envoy to Ukraine.