Foreign Office Blog
Receiving a telephone call from Number 10 and being appointed Minister for Europe at the Foreign Office was quite a surprise! After all, prior to the general election I had been shadow Minister for the Middle East, which is a different role altogether. The architecture of the Foreign Office and the hundreds of civil servants working hard make it a very exciting place.
My Ministerial brief mainly covers the European Union, NATO, Russia, and Eastern Europe. I can assure all those reading this blog that the work is nothing like ‘Yes Minister’. For one thing, it is a lot busier! I have up to ten meetings a day with Ministers, diplomats, other civil servants, and journalists. Added to this is a regular round of ambassadors’ receptions, front-bench duties in the House of Commons, speeches to think-tanks, media interviews, and desk-time.
In addition to the work in Whitehall, there are the overseas trips, which are equally busy. I travel with a small team of civil servants, and we meet our foreign counterparts or British diplomats, in order to co-ordinate the Government’s foreign policy oversees. So far I have done this in Stockholm, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Budapest, and France, amongst other countries.
I’ve always been interested by foreign affairs. From 1989-90 I was a special adviser to Douglas Hurd, who was then the Foreign Secretary. Years later, in July 2007 I was appointed as a Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs. I was therefore excited to be appointed to my current position.
For more information regarding my work as a Minister, please visit my Foreign Office blog, which includes videos of speeches and interviews I have given. It can be accessed here: