Christopher Meyer, the debonair diplomat who served as Britain’s ambassador to Washington from 1997 to 2003 however later argued that his executive let itself be suckered into supporting the American invasion of Iraq, died on July 27 at his vacation house in Megeve, within the French Alps. He was once 78.
His dying, it sounds as if from a stroke, was once showed by means of a number of officers, together with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
As Britain’s envoy from 1997 to 2003, right through the administrations of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Mr. Meyer had quietly banned the time period “special relationship” to explain the alliance between Britain and the United States, arguing that Washington obviously regarded as its ties to different countries — Israel, for instance — to be significantly extra essential.
Breaking with many different European countries, Britain was the Bush management’s leader spouse in its invasion of Afghanistan after the 2001 terrorist assaults in New York and Washington, and in its beef up of Washington’s claims that Iraq was once creating and deploying guns of mass destruction.
Mr. Meyer, then again, maintained, privately on the time and later in an unapologetically indiscreet e book titled “D.C. Confidential” (2005), that with out enough evidence that Saddam Hussein possessed the ones guns, and missing each additional beef up from the United Nations and plans to manipulate Iraq as soon as Hussein was once toppled, Prime Minister Tony Blair and Mr. Bush had upfront reached an settlement to invade Iraq, which he later stated have been “signed in blood,” on the president’s Texas ranch in April 2002.
“History’s verdict,” Mr. Meyer wrote, “looks likely to be that it was terminally flawed both in conception and execution.”
He later stated, despite the fact that, that Washington may neatly have long past to struggle with out Britain’s beef up.
Sparing just a few from reproach, he wrote dismissively of Mr. Blair’s ministers. Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott replied by means of brushing aside the previous envoy as a “red-socked fop” — a connection with his penchant for flashy hosiery. (Unfazed, Mr. Meyer followed the Twitter deal with @sirsocks, beneath which he weighed in as just lately as a couple of weeks in the past at the Conservative Party management race.)
Christopher John Rome Meyer was once born on Feb. 22, 1944, in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. Thirteen days ahead of he was once born, his father, Reginald, a Royal Air Force flight lieutenant, died when his aircraft was once shot down on a bombing venture over Greece. He was once raised by means of his mom, Eve, and his grandmother in Brighton.
He attended boarding college at Lancing College in West Sussex, studied in Paris and graduated with some extent in historical past from the University of Cambridge. He then studied on the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna, Italy.
In 1997 he married Catherine Laylle Volkmann, who ran Parents and Abducted Children Together, a global marketing campaign, to permit divorced and separated folks get entry to to their kids. She survives him, at the side of two sons, James and William, from his marriage to Françoise Hedges, which resulted in divorce; 3 stepsons; and a grandson.
Mr. Meyer joined the Foreign Office in 1966. He was once posted in Moscow, Madrid, Brussels and Washington and spent a yr at Harvard as a visiting fellow. In 1994 he was press spokesman for John Major, the Conservative top minister.
He served in brief as ambassador to Germany in 1997 ahead of being appointed envoy to Washington later that yr. His tenure as Britain’s longest-serving post-World War II ambassador to Washington would surround Mr. Clinton’s impeachment, Mr. Bush’s squeaker victory in 2000, the terrorist assaults of Sept. 11, 2001, the invasion of Afghanistan and the prelude to the struggle in Iraq.
He was once knighted in 1998.
In his memoir, Mr. Meyer wrote that Jonathan Powell, Mr. Blair’s leader of workforce, had ordered him to get as shut as imaginable to the White House. He were given as shut as he may just within the Bush management: He performed tennis with Condoleezza Rice, the nationwide safety adviser; went white-water rafting with Donald H. Rumsfeld, the protection secretary; and befriended his next-door neighbor, Vice President Dick Cheney.
After he retired in 2003, Mr. Meyer served for 6 years as chairman of his nation’s Press Complaints Commission, a self-policing frame that he helped fortify.
He later wrote books and articles and ceaselessly posted on Twitter, the place he questioned in 2020 why The New York Times was once, as he put it, so unremittingly Anglophobic. “Is it Brexit, where the paper is more royalist than the king for the Remain cause?” he asked. “Is it its loathing of Boris, whom it thinks ludicrously is a mini-Trump?”
He additionally hosted tv documentaries, together with a BBC sequence, “Networks of Power” (2012), during which he sought to spot the attributes that robust world towns and their influential population percentage.
“I thought, this is really interesting — what makes these cities tick? Who makes them tick?” he advised The Guardian in 2012. “And I started off with a hypothesis, which I think has been more or less justified by the filming, which was: Perhaps they have more in common with each other than they do with their own countries. Having watched Mumbai, Moscow and Rome, I would say the common trait is an alarming degree of nepotism.”
The actual factor, he added, was once that “it is your nature to surround yourself with people who you think will advance your interests, with whom you have some essential compatibility, and with whom you get on.”