Brian Sims

Sir Tim Barrow appointed national security advisor by Prime Minister

SIR TIM Barrow has been appointed as the national security advisor to Prime Minister Liz Truss. Barrow succeeds Sir Stephen Lovegrove who becomes the Prime Minister’s defence industrial advisor. In that new role, Lovegrove will focus keenly on a number of vital national and international defence programmes until the end of this year.

Barrow was formerly the second permanent secretary and political director at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. He boasts extensive experience across a range of foreign and national security policy issues, including having served as an ambassador in Kyiv and Moscow as well as to the European Union.

As political director in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Barrow has worked on the biggest foreign policy issues facing the country, including playing a leading role in the UK’s diplomatic response to Vladimir Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine.

Commenting on Barrow’s appointment, Prime Minister Liz Truss stated: “Sir Tim Barrow brings with him a huge wealth of experience when it comes to safeguarding the interests and security of the British people around the world. This includes working on the UK’s response to Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine.”

Barrow responded: “It’s an honour to have been appointed national security advisor. I look forward to working with the Prime Minister, members of the cabinet and colleagues from across Government to deliver the Prime Minister’s foreign policy and national security priorities.”

Further, Barrow observed: “I’m grateful to Stephen for his leadership over the last 18 months and particularly for his work to ensure that the UK has the partnerships and capabilities it needs for the future. I look forward to strengthening these partnerships in the UK and overseas in order to deliver the UK’s national security interests.”

Distinguished service

Liz Truss continued: “I would like to thank Sir Stephen Lovegrove for his distinguished service as national security advisor. I’m pleased that he will continue to promote our thriving nuclear defence industry, working with key international partners to keep our people safe.”

Cabinet secretary Simon Case noted: “I would like to thank Stephen for his remarkable leadership over the last year and a half as national security advisor. Stephen has led our national security response during a hugely significant period, encompassing the agreement of the AUKUS pact, the UK’s presidency of the G7, the UK’s leading role in the response to the invasion of Ukraine and the drawdown from Afghanistan. Stephen has personally played a vital role and I’m delighted that he will continue to provide essential support to the Prime Minister and the Government in his new role, which involves advising on projects of critical national importance.”

Case also said: “I warmly welcome Tim to the role of national security advisor. He’s very highly regarded across Government and internationally and is ideally qualified to take up this particularly important role.”

Sir Stephen Lovegrove commented: “It has been the greatest privilege to serve as the UK’s national security advisor and to have led the women and men of Britain’s incredible national security community. It has been an extraordinary period and I’m immensely proud of what we’ve achieved together, from the global leadership we’ve shown in supporting Ukraine through to the hugely significant AUKUS partnership, which I look forward to continuing to support. I know that Tim will provide the leadership we need in this vital and often unsung work and I wish him every success in his new role.”

Appointment timeline

Tim Barrow assumed the role of national security advisor as of Wednesday 14 September. As stated, prior to being appointed as the second permanent secretary to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office earlier this year, Barrow enjoyed a long career in the diplomatic service as permanent representative of the UK to the European Union in 2017 and also as the British ambassador to the European Union in 2020.

Sir Stephen Lovegrove became national security advisor back in March 2021. Prior to this, he was permanent secretary to the Ministry of Defence from 2016 and permanent secretary of the Department of Energy and Climate Change from 2013.

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