| Charles Powell |
(diplomat, politician, businessman)
|Born||6 July 1941|
|Parents||John Frederick Powell|
|Member of||Le Cercle|
Le Cercle, House of Lords, Key advisor to Thatcher, on the payroll of various defence companies
Charles Powell was educated at The Cathedral Choir School, Canterbury, The King's School, Canterbury and then got a BA in modern history from New College (Oxford)in 1963.
Charles Powell became a diplomat in 1963. His first posting was as Third Secretary to Helsinki in 1965, where he was promoted to Second Secretary. In 1968, he returned to London, spending three years at the FCO. He was posted as First Secretary to Washington, D.C. in 1971, and became the Ambassador's Private Secretary. Subsequent postings were to Bonn in 1974 and, as Counsellor, to UKREP Brussels in 1980.
Al-Yamamah arms deal
Powell was seconded to 10 Downing Street and served as Private Secretary to Margaret Thatcher (1983 to 1990) and then as Private Secretary to John Major (1990 to 1991). During his time working for Mrs Thatcher, he became one of her most trusted foreign policy aides, and helped broker the Al-Yamamah arms deal with Saudi Arabia.
E. P. Heidner refers to Lord Powell as a "key member" of "Diligence and its sister company New Bridge... demonstrat[ing] the Western political and financial muscle working with the Yeltsin family".
House of Lords
He is a member of the House of Lords and has been on a range of committees since 2000:
- Procedure Committee Jun 2015 -
- Constitution Committee Jun 2010 - Mar 2015
- European Union Committee Nov 2006 - Apr 2010
- EU Sub-Committee B - Internal Market Nov 2006 - Apr 2010
- Economic Affairs Committee Jun 2005 - Nov 2006
- EU Sub-Committee C - Foreign Affairs, Defence and Development Policy Nov 2003 - Nov 2004
Brunei conflict of interest
In 2005, it was revealed that Powell had been acting as Tony Blair's special envoy to Brunei, an unpaid role, for several years. This was controversial because Powell was on the payroll of BAE Systems, and the company was at the time in dispute with Brunei over the purchase of three warships. Lord Powell denied a conflict of interest over both his links to BAE and the fact his brother Jonathan Powell was serving as Tony Blair's chief of staff.
As of 2015, he was receiving a salary in the following capacities:
- Chairman, Advisory Board, Rolls-Royce International
- Chairman, Advisory Board, Bowmark Capital
- Member, International Advisory Board, Barrick Gold
- Member, Advisory Board, Thales UK
- Member, International Advisory Board, ACE Insurance
- Adviser, BAE Systems
- Adviser, HCL Technologies (India)
Deep political connections
He attended Le Cercle in the early 1990s. As of 2015, he was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations/Global Board of Advisers.
- The Diplomatic Service List 1989 (page 278), HMSO, ISBN 0-11-591707-1.
- Leigh, David (2007-06-07). "BAE Files: Charles Powell". London: BBC. Retrieved 2008-03-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- MacAskill, Ewen (2005-10-08). "Blair's special envoy to Brunei on BAE payroll". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2008-03-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>