Boris Johnson choice for national security post attacked as too political | Defense policy


Security experts and opposition MPs on Monday condemned David Frost for appointing Boris Johnson, a national security adviser, arguing that his political status and lack of direct experience would undermine his effectiveness.

Lord Ricketts, the first person to be appointed to the role when it was created in 2010, said it was his duty to provide “politically neutral” advice to the Prime Minister, allowing politicians to “work on what ‘they wanted to do ”.

“David Frost has been explicitly designated as an appointment policy. So this is to confuse the lines between the advisory and political services, the angle party politics that normally ministers and that worries me, “the peer added.

Lord of the Woods of Anfield, a former foreign policy adviser, Gordon Brown, said that all of the previous four national security advisers had been civil servants, and he argued their job is to coordinate security efforts across a range of departments.

“In the area of ​​national security, the MP considerations of political fortunes must be nowhere near the motivation of the national security adviser,” said Bois.

Ğ for an appointment policy means that you have your eyes on the political consequences of actions and the political motivations to take the first place. ”

A surprise freeze appointment was announced at the end of Sunday, following the departure of Sir Mark Sedwill, the secretary to the cabinet, who has also held the national security post since 2017.

Aid to Johnson will start employment in August and combine it with his existing roles as Prime Minister Europe to advise and head of a brexit negotiator, also to invite complaints, it would be the lack of time to get the job done right.

Created when David Cameron was the Prime Minister, the national security adviser has the role of coordinating the work of the national security committee, a weekly meeting between high-ranking ministers and the intelligence services of the chiefs.

Former officials say the post was in part intended to formalize relations between Britain’s spy agencies and Britain, which had been criticized for allowing themselves to become overly politicized under Tony Blair in the running to the war in Iraq.

Alex Thomas, a former civil servant, now based at the Institute of Government, said: “It is true that the Prime Minister chooses who he wants, around him, but one of the questions is whether there will be too many informal decision making again. ”

The freeze will be done by peers, although I am not a minister. To allow him to maintain his political status Whitehall sources said he was not expected to act as an accounting officer for the spy agencies’ £ 3.23 bn budgets, a role which can only be performed by a official.

Conservatives near Downing Street said that the appointment freeze drawing attention to an area of ​​Johnson’s politics was not seen as particularly enthusiastic about the idea. “I think it came as a surprise to Johnson how ruthless the Russians could be,” an adviser said.

They also believe that it is likely to allow a change of heart on issues such as Huawei, where Sedwill and intelligence agencies had advised the Prime Minister, it would be sure to allow Chinese society limited access to networks 5G. Politics is under review after a Tory revolt.

Alan Mendoza, executive director of the Henry Jackson Society, who was the first anti-Huawei campaign, said: “This is a chance for the government to relaunch its national security program beyond its previous narrow limits. ”

Unlike Sedwill, a career diplomat who was posted to countries such as Iraq and Pakistan, before becoming the Ambassador of Afghanistan and the Permanent Secretary in the Interior Ministry, Freezing The Office for Foreigners reached a career high when he became ambassador for Denmark and the Foreign Office for the director of strategy at the end of the last decade.

Some colleagues in the raw civil service Gel was going to get up much further. After a stint as a negotiator in the department for business, he left the public service in 2013 to become the CEO of the Scotch Whiskey Association, where he remained a relatively low-profile figure.

David Henig, a former civilian service colleague, remembers Gel as “proof of diligence and competence”, but said he would have had little or no contact with the National Security Council previously, as he was put in place in 2010, when it left the Office des Étrangers.

Instead, he retained political ties through right thinktanks such as the Opening of Europe and the Henry Jackson Society. Who paid when he became a political adviser to Johnson when he was foreign minister between 2016 and 2018.

“Boris hired because he was a bridge between the political class and the officials,” a former comrade special adviser said. “He is not a man who is anti-public, he just wants to do the machine work for the Prime Minister.”

Known universally in Glacial circles, the ex-diplomat returned to government after Johnson became prime minister, as his Europe adviser. He became the leader a brexit negotiator at the end of January with a solid 4o-team as the Ministry of Exit from the European Union was liquidated.

The freeze has been trusted regularly enough, reporters briefed on the state of the brexit negotiations and, exceptionally for help, gave a short speech in Brussels in February, where he warned that democracy consent of British public opinion would be “dramatically snap and, finally,” if the UK continued to be linked to EU regulations.


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