Appointing Former PM Chief of Staff as Paris Ambassador ‘undermines professionalism of Diplomatic Service’, says FDA

26 September 2016
(For immediate release)

Responding to the appointment of David Cameron's former Chief of Staff Ed Llewellyn as the next British Ambassador at Paris, Dave Penman, General Secretary of the FDA - which represents staff in the Diplomatic Service - said:

"Ambassadorial posts are key to securing the UK's interests abroad. Diplomats undergo years of training and are initially selected through open and fair competition.

"Whatever the individual merits Mr Llewellyn may have, the appointment undermines the principles of selection on merit that underpin the political neutrality of the civil service.

"Perhaps more crucially, if Ambassadorial appointments are seen to be the gift of outgoing Prime Ministers, this undermines both this appointment and the professionalism of the entire service." 

Notes for editors

1. The FDA is the trade union for the UK's senior public servants and professionals at grade HEO and above. FDA membership includes more than 18,000 senior civil servants, diplomats, Government policy advisors, prosecutors, tax professionals, economists, solicitors and other professionals working across Government and the NHS.

2. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".

3. The FDA can be found on Twitter @FDA_union and at

 4. For further information contact:

  • Dave Penman, General Secretary, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07967 503827.
  • Kay Hender, Communications Manager, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07980 700747.