Former UK Prime Minister Theresa May | Jack Taylor/Getty Images
Theresa May slams appointment of UK Brexit negotiator to senior security role
The former prime minister asked why the government had given a ‘political appointee’ the role of national security adviser.
Updated 6/30/20, 6:27 PM CET
LONDON — Theresa May criticized the U.K. government’s decision to appoint its chief Brexit negotiator David Frost to the role of national security adviser instead of choosing a civil servant with relevant expertise.
In September, Frost will take over from Mark Sedwill, who also currently holds the role of Cabinet secretary — the head of the U.K. civil service. Sedwill is stepping down from both jobs.
But the former prime minister challenged Frost’s appointment during a debate on the change in the House of Commons on Tuesday.
Referring back to previous remarks by Cabinet Minister Michael Gove, who on Saturday said the government should “promote those with proven expertise,” May said, “Why then is the new national security adviser a political appointee with no proven expertise in national security?”
Gove rebuked May’s attack, insisting that Frost would benefit from his diplomatic expertise rather than a security background — as he claimed other national security advisers have done in the past.
“We have had previous national security advisors, all of them excellent, not all of them necessarily were steeped in the security world. Some of them were distinguished diplomats in their own right,” Gove replied.
Frost joined the Foreign Office as a civil servant in 1987 and served as ambassador to Denmark from May 2006 to October 2008.