Why Mark Malloch Brown quit…

by | Jul 12, 2009


The Sunday Times has a piece today on Mark Malloch Brown’s reasons for standing down as a Foreign Office minister – based on detailed quotes from a “colleague”.  Excerpts:

“Mark said that the goldfish bowl nature of Westminster and the pressures of the 24-hour news cycle meant there wasa lack of strategic thinking in British politics – on both sides of the political divide.  [He] felt there was a contrast between the professionalism and long-term planning that happened in the countries where he acted as a consultant [such as Chile and the Philippines] and the chaotic nature of Whitehall.”

Also this:

Behind the scenes Malloch-Brown tried to lobby Brown to uphold his promise to hold a “comprehensive” inquiry into the Iraq war. However, when last month Brown announced the investigation was to be carried out in secret, Malloch-Brown was furious.

“Mark was incandescent. This was not what why he signed up to being a minister,” said a colleague. “He tried to contact the prime minister, but he was away travelling. In the end he spoke to Gus O’Donnell [the cabinet secretary] and told him what he thought.”

Within days of the prime minister’s original statement, the government executed a U-turn and said that some hearings would after all be held in public. “Mark was satisfied with the final outcome,” said a colleague. “But I think the incident left a sour taste.”

Full article here.

Author

  • Alex Evans

    Alex Evans is founder of the Collective Psychology Project, which explores how we can use psychology to reduce political tribalism and polarisation, a senior fellow at New York University, and author of The Myth Gap: What Happens When Evidence and Arguments Aren’t Enough? (Penguin, 2017). He is a former Campaign Director of the 50 million member global citizen’s movement Avaaz, special adviser to two UK Cabinet Ministers, climate expert in the UN Secretary-General’s office, and was Research Director for the Business Commission on Sustainable Development. He was part of Ethiopia’s delegation to the Paris climate summit and has consulted for Oxfam, WWF UK, the UK Cabinet Office and US State Department. Alex lives with his wife and two children in Yorkshire.


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