Stephen Wall

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Sir Stephen Wall

48th British Ambassador to Portugal
In office
Preceded by Hugh James Arbuthnott
Succeeded by Roger Westbrook
7th British Permanent Representative to the European Union
In office
Preceded by John Kerr
Succeeded by Nigel Sheinwald
Personal details
John Stephen Wall[1]

January 1947

Sir Stephen Wall GCMG LVO (born January 1947) is a retired British diplomat who served as Britain's ambassador to Portugal and Permanent Representative to the European Union.


Wall, who was educated at Douai School[1] and Selwyn College, Cambridge, entered the Diplomatic Service in 1968.[2] His early postings included the United Nations, Addis Ababa and Paris.[2] On his return to London in 1974, he worked in the Foreign Office News Department and was later seconded to the press office of James Callaghan, who was then Prime Minister.[3] He subsequently served as Assistant Private Secretary to David Owen, the Foreign Secretary and Lord Carrington, David Owen's successor.[2]

Wall spent four years at the British Embassy, Washington, D.C. from 1979 to 1983, when he returned to the Foreign Office.[2] From 1983 to 1988 he served as Assistant Head, and later Head, of the Foreign Office's European Community Department (Internal.) He was Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary from 1988 to 1991, serving under Geoffrey Howe, John Major and Douglas Hurd.[2] He was Private Secretary to Prime Minister John Major from 1991 to 1993, responsible for foreign policy and defence issues.[3]

Wall was sent as Ambassador to Portugal in 1993, and he remained there until 1995, when he was named as Britain's Permanent Representative to the European Union.[4] He returned to London in 2000 to takes charge of the Cabinet Office's European Secretariat. He remained in that post until 2004, and during that period he was EU adviser to Tony Blair.[4] He was named as principal adviser to Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster in June 2004, and he served until June 2005.[5]

Sir Stephen Wall is chairman of Cumberland Lodge, an educational charity initiating fresh debate on the burning questions facing society.[6] From 2005 to 2014, he was a Council Member at UCL and was Council Chair from 2008 to 2014. He is a Vice-Chair of the pro-EU business organisation 'Business for New Europe' and Chair of the pro-EU 'Federal Trust'. From 2009 to 2014 he was co-chair of the Belgo-British Conference. He is Chair of The Kaleidoscope Trust Board – a charity campaigning for LGBT rights overseas.[7] He works as an Official Historian at the Cabinet Office, writing the Official History of Britain's relationship with the rest of the European Union.

Personal life

Wall was married with one son.[8]

In 2014, Stephen Wall came out publicly as gay. He was Equalities Champion at UCL for LGBT+ issues.

Wall has stated that reading Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion led him to abandon his Catholic faith.[9]


  • A Stranger in Europe: Britain and the EU from Thatcher to Blair (2008)[10]
  • "The Official History of Britain and the European Community, Volume II: From Rejection to Referendum,1963 – 1975" (Routledge 2012)

Offices held

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Sir Anthony Galsworthy
Principal Private Secretary
to the Foreign Secretary

Succeeded by
Sir Richard Gozney
Preceded by
Sir John Holmes
Private Secretary for Foreign Affairs
to the Prime Minister

Succeeded by
Francis Campbell
Preceded by
Hugh James Arbuthnott
British Ambassador
to Portugal

Succeeded by
Roger Westbrook
Preceded by
John, The Lord Kerr of Kinlochard
British Permanent Representative
to the European Union

Succeeded by
Sir Nigel Sheinwald
Government offices
Preceded by
David Bostock
Director-General, European Secretariat
Cabinet Office

Succeeded by
Sir Kim Darroch


  1. ^ a b "Pupils of the Schools at Paris, Douai and Woolhampton" (PDF). Douai Abbey.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Sir Stephen Wall, GCMG LVO". University of Edinburgh School of Law. Archived from the original on 7 April 2010. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Uncivil servants. Former special adviser Stephen Wall describes life inside the No 10 media machine". New Statesman. 17 October 2005. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Sir Stephen Wall". Business for New Europe. Archived from the original on 17 April 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
  5. ^ "Spinning against the Vatican". The hermeneutic of continuity. 1 December 2007. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
  6. ^ Cumberland Lodge: Trustees
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Denis MacShane (26 April 2008). "'Are Eu ready?' No, we're not". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
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