Books about Anguilla


Sunday, 20 January 2013


Well, that's one way of avoiding your ex: Civil servant lands plum Caribbean job 4,000 miles from estranged husband... who happens to be PM's aide
  • Christina Scott will take over as British Governor on island of Anguilla
  • Posting includes a Governor's Residence and a salary nudging six figures
  • In her current job, she is in contact with estranged husband Chris Martin
  • Sources say personal circumstances were not relevant to her appointment
Christina Scott will take over as British Governor
in Anguilla this summer. 
When it was announced that Whitehall mandarin Christina Scott will take over as British Governor in the tiny paradise isle of Anguilla this summer, eyebrows were raised in the Foreign Office.

The plum Caribbean posting – which includes the picture-postcard Governor’s Residence ‘Old Ta’ and a salary ‘nudging six figures’ – was expected to go to someone with a background in foreign affairs.

Yet all Ms Scott’s experience over the past 12 years has been at the Treasury, Transport Department and Cabinet Office.

Paradise found: Miss Scott made her delight clear when her appointment in Anguilla was announced in October
However, one consequence of her surprise move is that she will no longer risk bumping into her estranged husband Chris Martin in Downing Street. He is Principal Private Secretary to David Cameron, the second most powerful official in No  10, and deputy to Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood.

The current Governor of Anguilla is lifelong envoy William Harrison.And of the ten British Overseas Territories with Governors – including Montserrat, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands – seven appointments went to career diplomats, one to a senior official at the Department for International Development and one to a former naval officer.

By contrast, Ms Scott, 38, runs the Civil Contingencies Secretariat, which is in charge of responding to UK crises such as natural disasters or terrorism. She has never worked at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), which customarily protects such appointments with jealousy.

Christina Scott runs the Civil Contingencies 
Secretariat which is in charge of responding 
to UK crises
Ms Scott fell in love with Mr Martin, 39, when they worked for the last Labour administration. They married in 2005 but friends were dismayed to learn over a year ago that the couple had separated. Their paths crossed again at work when Treasury official Mr Martin was promoted to his current No  10 post. It meant working alongside Ms Scott, who is based in the Cabinet Office, which is connected to No  10 by an internal passage.

The high-powered and sensitive nature of Ms Scott’s work as the civil servant in charge of COBRA – the Cabinet committee that deals with national emergencies – means she comes into close contact with Mr Cameron and his senior aides such as Mr Martin. Last night, both Downing Street and the FCO denied any impropriety in the appointment process or that it had been influenced by a desire to keep the couple apart, saying her personal circumstances were not relevant. They added that it was ‘not unusual’ to be appointed to a Governorship without a background at the FCO.

Ms Scott made her delight clear when her little-noticed appointment was announced in October, saying: ‘It is a great honour to be appointed as Governor. I very much look forward to working with the people of Anguilla and their elected representatives as they build a vibrant, successful and resilient future.’

Prime mover: Chris Martin, David Cameron's Principal
Private Secretary is Miss Scott's estranged husband
Mr Martin advised Mr Cameron before his appearance at the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics and accompanied him when he gave evidence. He was also involved in the investigation into claims that ex-Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell swore at a policeman at Downing Street’s gates.

Ms Scott, who will be known by the grand title of ‘Her Excellency The Governor’, can expect less stress and improved working conditions, 4,000 miles away in Anguilla.

Old Ta, near the capital, The Valley, is an idyllic location and has hosted the Queen on official visits. At weekends Ms Scott will be able to relax on its palm-fringed beaches. Anguilla’s large measure of internal self-government means the Governor’s role, which includes dealing with policing and the remote prospect of invasion, is mainly ceremonial. Anguilla has a population of just 13,500, the same as a small English town, and is 16 miles long by three miles across at its widest point.

According to legend, Anguilla was first sighted and named by Christopher Columbus and colonised by English settlers in the 1600s. It is a tax haven and, until last year, had no income tax. Not surprisingly, it is now an upmarket tourist destination.

Last night, an FCO spokesman said: ‘It is standard practice for the FCO to advertise all senior positions across Whitehall. It opens up the field of competition and helps us attract the most talented candidates. Christina Scott was appointed to this role from a strong field of candidates after a successful interview in which she was assessed to be the best person for the job. The competition was open and fair. 

‘Christina has relevant experience drawn from a range of roles from across Whitehall, as well as extensive domestic policy experience, which will make her an asset to the FCO and the Government of Anguilla.’

An FCO source added: ‘The job of a Governor is like no other in the FCO... it is not about the diplomatic influencing of another country’s government, it is more about being a part of that executive. It means understanding how public policy is delivered, and how to work through the machinations of politics.’

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