Cameron’s ‘cronyism’ could cost Eton pal top diplomatic job in Paris
Ed Llewellyn, one of Cameron’s Eton mates who was later his senior aide when the former prime minister became the Tory’s leader in 2005, aims to become Britain’s ambassador to France. Sir Julian King, who currently holds the job, is moving to Brussels in October to become the EU’s commissioner for the security union.
Llewellyn was on Cameron’s resignation honors list, which prompted many to accuse the one-time Conservative leader of “cronyism.” Despite reports the appointment was to be cancelled, Llewellyn accepted the life peerage last month.
Political appointments to senior ambassadorial jobs are never well looked upon by the diplomatic community, but the real points of contention are Cameron’s award handouts.
On Tuesday, the chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, Bernard Jenkin, asked fellow MPs to examine the fallen Tory leader’s nominations list.
Llewellyn is one of 13 new peers proposed by Cameron, who also include one of his former communication aides Gabrielle Bertin and Tory special advisor Jonathan Caine.
The inquiry, Jenkins said, should consider “the size and composition of the House of Lords, but also the way in which new peers are appointed.”
A 2012 report recommended that a higher proportion of honors be awarded to “people who devote their time to the local community, instead of to politicians, civil servants, and celebrities.”
Speaking to members on Tuesday, Jenkins added: “I think reform of the House of Lords is by far the most important issue arising from this month’s controversy. I hope the new Government will consider this and our previous report seriously, and I hope the committee will agree terms of reference and to launch our inquiry as soon as the House returns in September.”
I don't really see how Ed Llewellyn, who'd be a good ambassador to Paris, can also be a political peer. That isn't right. One or t'other— George Trefgarne (@GeorgeTrefgarne) August 10, 2016
Cameron is expected to be dragged in for interrogation by the Committee. His friend Llewellyn is also under the scrutiny of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee for his cold-blooded ambition to become “our man in Paris.”
Conservative MP Crispin Blunt, who serves as chairman for the foreign affairs committee said: “The appointment of Ed Llewellyn is exactly the kind of territory the committee will want to look at.”
Prime Minister Theresa May is rumored to also want a different person for the job, seeing how Llewellyn’s management of Cameron’s anti-Brexit campaign ended in failure.
The Scottish National Party’s (SNP’s) European spokesman, Stephen Gethins, commented on the inquiry, saying: “There could not be a more important time to have a positive relationship with France. I hope this is not just a case of jobs for the boys.”