Daily Archives: April 13, 2012

Jim Pickard

Ambassadors living in elegant period mansions, supping vintage wines and enjoying banquets at taxpayers’ expense – this is one common caricature of Britain’s diplomatic service.

Among the public the impression of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is not one of financial austerity. Nor do visitors to the Whitehall ministry get any such impression, with its ornate corridors, grandiose stairways and gilt-edged internal dome.

Yet there have been growing concerns within Whitehall for many years that the FCO is seen by successive governments as an area ripe for spending efficiencies.