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Our condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Sir Christopher Meyer who has died on 27 July 2022 after suffering a stroke in the French Alps.
Sir Christopher Meyer, KCMG was British Ambassador to Germany and the United States, he is a highly experienced facilitator and one the world’s most distinguished diplomats.
Aged just 24, Meyer, was already entrusted as third secretary to the British embassy in Moscow. Within a year he was appointed as the ambassador’s private secretary. From 1970 to 1973 he was second secretary at the British embassy in Madrid. Then, five years in London saw him, as the head of the Soviet section in the East European and Soviet Department, and then speech-writer to three successive Foreign Secretaries,
After four years in Brussels providing permanent representation to the European Communities, he became political counsellor at the British embassy in Moscow.
Recognising his deep insights of international trade affairs, the then Foreign Secretary, Lord, Sir Geoffrey Howe, appointed him as official Press Secretary. A few years later he became Press Secretary and official government spokesperson to John Major, the then Prime Minister.
Following a posting in Germany as ambassador, Meyer’s final official diplomatic service saw him rise to become British Ambassador to the United States.
In 2003, Meyer was appointed Chairman of the UK Press Complaints Commission (PCC). He was directly responsible for enhancing the profile, independence and credibility of the Commission.
His highly controversial memoirs, DC Confidential, were partly serialised in The Mail and Guardian. Jim Hoagland, the authoritative Washington Post commentator on foreign affairs, described his book as “thorough” and “credible”.
His second book, Getting Our Way, a 500-year history of British diplomacy was accompanied by a BBC 4 television series. The book was also serialised by the Sunday Times and Daily Telegraph.
Meyer went on to present several television and radio documentaries on diplomacy for the BBC, including Mortgaged to the Yanks, Corridors of Power, How to Succeed at Summits, and Lying Abroad.
The Guardian newspaper called his documentary series for Sky Atlantic: Networks of Power, “immensely watchable” and described Meyer himself as “Paxmanesque, quizzical, authoritative and faintly mischievous”.
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