Leigh Turner

Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

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UK in Austria

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19th April 2021 Vienna, Austria

Alex Hammond

Consular Policy Officer, British Embassy Vienna

Update for UK nationals in Austria and a new Q&A session

If you are a UK national who was living legally in Austria before 1 January 2021, you need to apply for a new residency card before the end of 2021. Although you have until 31st December to do so, you should consider applying at the earliest convenient opportunity to get it out of the way. […]

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8th April 2021 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Diplomatic lessons 6, Berlin 1998-2002: Pendulums

Before our first child was born in 1992, we studied best practice in bringing up babies.  Two pieces of expert advice stuck out (NOTE: DO NOT FOLLOW THIS ADVICE).  First, babies should always be laid face-down in their cots, to minimise the risk of choking.  Second, natural lamb’s fleece in the cot was a great […]

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18th March 2021 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Protecting our people

“My boy is back. Thanks for all the hard work that helped make this happen!”  The tweet sent late morning on 4 April 2020 shows two happy faces. Father and son reunited again in the UK. It was a positive ending of a weeks-long operation by British Embassy Vienna staff, evacuating 391 young British ski […]

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17th March 2021 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

A “Gesamtkonzept” for UK foreign and security policy

During my career in the UK’s foreign service I have experienced how British foreign policy can be both stable and flexible at the same time. Does that sound like a paradox?  It is entirely logical.  For as long as I can remember, the UK government has sought to defend and promote human rights, democracy, rule […]

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23rd February 2021 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Diplomatic lessons 5, 1995-98: make a difference

“September 1996, Beijing: second of three formal sessions of the Joint Liaison Group.  There are 15 on each side of the long tables, with consecutive interpretation and note-takers on further tables behind us.  We go through the agenda, rehearsing positions on each side, notching up here and there agreements that will be the evidence in […]

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14th January 2021 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Diplomatic lessons 4, Russia 1991-95: have a plan, and break it

Outside “The Two Chairmen”[1], the beer was cool and fresh. My colleague raised his glass.  ‘You had children a few years back,’ he said.  ‘We can’t decide on the best time.  What do you think?’ ‘Some things, you can’t plan,’ I said. I had met Pamela, a colleague in London, in 1990. Later that year, […]

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4th January 2021 Vienna, Austria

Pauline Trepczyk

Climate Change Policy Officer, British Embassy Vienna

2021: a turning point for climate ambition

We are at a turning point for our planet. As the world comes back from COVID-19, it is vital that we build back greener and more resilient. This year, the UK will host the 26th UN climate change conference COP26, in Glasgow with our partners, Italy. The pandemic has not stopped the climate crisis. On […]

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15th December 2020 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Diplomatic lessons 3, 1987-91: go for the hard jobs

The day I started my job as Desk Officer for Budget and Finance in the European Community Department (Internal) of the Foreign Office on 2 November 1987 turned out to be a long one. In the evening, I sat with my colleague Ralph Publicover[1], Desk Officer for the Common Agricultural Policy (including stabilisers and Monetary […]

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25th November 2020 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Diplomatic lessons 2, 1983-87: languages change everything

I was working in the personnel departments of the FCO[1] when Judith Macgregor[2], head of my section, put her head around the door and beckoned. An officer named John Everard[2] had resigned from his post as second secretary (political) and press officer at the British Embassy in Vienna, she said.  They needed a German speaker, […]

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24th November 2020 Vienna, Austria

Alex Hammond

Digital Communications Officer, British Embassy Vienna

Embassy Q&A for UK nationals in Austria – Thursday 26 November 2020

THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO TOOK PART IN THIS Q&A. We have now responded to your comments here and on facebook. You can find a document with all of the questions and answers here. The British Embassy Vienna is running an online Q&A session on our embassy facebook page on Thursday 26 November. At midday on […]

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About Leigh Turner

I hope you find this blog interesting and, where appropriate, entertaining. My role in Vienna covers the relationship between Austria and the UK as well as the diverse work of…

I hope you find this blog interesting and, where appropriate, entertaining. My role in Vienna covers the relationship between Austria and the UK as well as the diverse work of the UN and other organisations; stories here will reflect that.

About me: I arrived in Vienna in August 2016 for my second posting in this wonderful city, having first served here in the mid-1980s. My previous job was as HM Consul-General and Director-General for Trade and Investment for Turkey, Central Asia and South Caucasus based in Istanbul.

Further back: I grew up in Nigeria, Exeter, Lesotho, Swaziland and Manchester before attending Cambridge University 1976-79. I worked in several government departments before joining the Foreign Office in 1983.

Keen to go to Africa and South America, I’ve had postings in Vienna (twice), Moscow, Bonn, Berlin, Kyiv and Istanbul, plus jobs in London ranging from the EU Budget to the British Overseas Territories.

2002-6 I was lucky enough to spend four years in Berlin running the house, looking after the children (born 1992 and 1994) and doing some writing and journalism.

To return to Vienna as ambassador is a privilege and a pleasure. I hope this blog reflects that.