London: Sir Richard Stagg, the British high commissioner in India, is likely to move as the next ambassador to Washington and may be replaced by Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, UK’s envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The reshuffle is expected as part of key moves planned in the foreign office by the new government, reports said.
Stagg may be replaced by Cowper-Coles, who has gone on “extended leave” from Kabul and is almost certain not to go back, the reports say.
The Independent reported on Tuesday that significant changes may take place in the diplomatic service to accompany the recent overhaul of foreign policy by foreign secretary William Hague.
The newspaper reported key posts in Washington, Paris and Delhi as well as the foreign and Commonwealth office in london may change hands.
Mentioning the likely change in Delhi, the report said: “The Indians, with their civil service culture stuck in many ways in the days of the Raj, were rather taken aback by the informal style of Sir Richard, a former press spokesman in Brussels, when he arrived, but since then he has described by one diplomat as a ‘charming man with twinkling eyes’”.
Stagg’s popularity, the report said, may be a factor against his going to the US as the new government is keen to nurture ties with emerging powers.
Prime Minister David Cameron is scheduled to lead a large delegation to Delhi, where the coalition government is keen to operationalize its promise to forge a ‘new special relationship’ with India.