Foreign Office secrets spilled

Tom Fletcher enjoys the witty diaries of a top diplomat

The World Today Updated 18 November 2020 Published 12 February 2018 3 minute READ

Tom Fletcher CMG

Principal, Hertford College, University of Oxford

Behind Diplomatic Lines: Relations with Ministers
Patrick Wright, Biteback, £25.00

The room occupied by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office permanent under-secretary is an intimidating place. Surveying the same St James Park lamps that Grey watched going out on the eve of the First World War, the austere office is periodically revamped by new incumbents but never loses its sense of history and intrigue.

On the wall outside are photos of the diplomats who have held the office. All are white men with grey hair in their late 50s. Patrick Wright is the one who looks as though he is having the most fun.

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