The former British ambassador to the US, Sir Christopher Meyer, has died aged 78.
According to the Daily Mail, the former diplomat suffered a stroke while on holiday with his wife Catherine in the French Alps.
Confirming his death on Twitter, the current ambassador Karen Pierce wrote: “Very sad to see former British Ambassador to the US Christopher Meyer has died.
“He was one of my predecessors, but I first met him 30 years ago when we served under Robin Renwick.
“He was a great diplomat and a great character. All our thoughts are with Catherine and his family.”
Sir Christopher served as ambassador to the US for six years from 1997, having previously been press secretary to then Conservative Prime Minister John Major between 1994 and 1996.
His memoirs, DC Confidential, released in 2005, centred on his time in Washington and were heavily critical of Tony Blair over his handling of the period leading up to the Iraq War.
That conflict was to be the dominant feature of George W Bush’s presidency, but when Sir Christopher first met him he said he was confronted with a politician with a limited world view.
He wrote: “Bush admitted that, apart from Mexico, he did not know much about international affairs and that he would do well to broaden his experience.”
After retiring from the diplomatic service, Sir Christopher served as chairman of the Press Complaints Commission between 2003 and 2009, his time there coinciding with the phone hacking scandal and the jailing in 2007 of the News of the World reporter, Clive Goodman, and the enquiry agent, Glenn Mulcaire.
As the scale of the scandal grew he was criticised for not having brought more those responsible to account, despite lacking the powers to actually do so.
In 2018 he was hospitalised after being attacked by a teenager at Victoria Station.