David Frost’s reported resignation as Brexit minister comes at the end of a long career in diplomacy.
A close ally of the Prime Minister, Lord Frost was hired by Boris Johnson as his political special adviser when he was made foreign secretary by Theresa May in 2016.
Three years later, when Mr Johnson succeeded Mrs May as Prime Minister, he again turned to Lord Frost, making him his chief adviser and negotiator on Europe.
While in that role he was at the forefront of the UK’s withdrawal negotiations with the EU, culminating in a year-long transition period that ended in December 2020.
Then in February 2021 the Prime Minister made Lord Frost a full member of his Cabinet, tasking him with a key role overseeing the future relationship with the European Union.
He also replaced Michael Gove as chairman of the UK-EU joint committee on the Withdrawal Agreement.
However, Mr Frost was not always the Prime Minister’s right hand man on Brexit.
Born in Derby in 1965 and educated at Nottingham High School, he went on to study French and history at Oxford, where he gained a first.
After university he entered the Foreign Office, where he was fast-tracked for promotion, including an early posting to Brussels in 1993.
It was there, apparently, that the seeds of his Euroscepticism were sown as he became disenchanted with the growing European “super state”, although he kept his views well hidden from colleagues.
The young diplomat’s posting also coincided with Mr Johnson’s time as a journalist in the Belgian capital, where he made his name with articles panning the European bureaucracy, although it is not recorded whether the two men knew each other.
Lord Frost’s rise through the Foreign Office culminated in his appointment at the age of 41 as the UK ambassador to Copenhagen, followed by a secondment to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills as Britain’s most senior trade policy official.
Then, in a sign of things to some, Lord Frost’s seemingly smooth career trajectory took an unexpected turn in 2013 when he left the Diplomatic Service after more than 25 years to become chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association.
He also became a member of the advisory council of the Eurosceptic think tank Open Europe, where his views on Brexit became more overt, before joining Mr Johnson’s team in 2016.
Flash forward to 2021 and it is the Government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic that has led Mr Frost to leave diplomacy again, according to The Mail On Sunday.
What lies next for the 56-year-old, be it whisky or pastures new, remains to be seen.
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