Philip Barton is new UK envoy to India
Philip Barton, who served as the British high commissioner in Islamabad between 2014 and 2016, and held the post of private secretary to former prime ministers John Major and Tony Blair, has been appointed the new high commissioner to India.
He replaces Dominic Asquith, the Foreign Office announced on Thursday. Asquith returns to London after a nearly four-year stint in New Delhi, during which he oversaw an exponential growth in the visas issued to Indian citizens, including students, whose numbers had declined since 2010.
A career diplomat, Barton, 56, will be in the key post as the post-Brexit UK seeks to forge a free trade agreement with India, besides working on expectations to drive India-UK trade. He has previously been posted in the British high commission in New Delhi.
An alumnus of the University of Warwick and the London School of Economics, Barton studied politics and economics before joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1986. He is married to Amanda and they have a daughter and a son.
Most recently, Barton was the acting chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee. Before that, he was on secondment to the International Institute for Strategic Studies as a Consulting Senior Fellow focusing on South Asian issues.
Besides his role as private secretary to major and Blair, Barton worked in the Cabinet Office as director general for the PM’s Anti-Corruption Summit and director, Foreign Policy and Afghanistan/Pakistan Coordinator supporting the National Security Council.