1 Sep, 2014 @ 15:46
1 min read

UK Ambassador to Spain in Twitter outburst after ‘secret meeting’ in Sevilla

Simon Manley
Simon Manley

UK’S Ambassador to Spain has used Twitter to fight accusations of a secret meeting with the president of the Junta de Andalucia which excluded the Gibraltar Government.

Britain’s ambassador to Spain, Simon Manley, reportedly held discussions on Gibraltar during a meeting with Susana Díaz in Sevilla without informing Gibraltarian officials.

Since the meeting Manley has received pressure from The Gibraltar Social Democrats (GSD) who said they ‘did not understand’ why the UK ambassador should be talking about Gibraltar in the absence of the Gibraltar Government.

Clearly irritated by the allegations, Manley posted his defence on Twitter. It reads: “I am Ambassador to Spain! What’s so bizarre about me visiting Sevilla or any other part of the country to promote UK interests?”

News of the meeting reportedly reached Gibraltar when the Junta de Andalucia posted a picture of Manley and Diaz on their official webpage. Also present was Manuel Jiménez Barrios, another high profile political figure in the Andalucian region.

Rob Horgan

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  1. That the Spanish press was going to make a big splash about the UK ambassador to Spain going to the Palacio de San Telmo to speak to the Andalucía President Susana Diaz and that the subject Gibraltar was, inevitably, creep into the story is something that should have been obvious to the Ambassador, in the current climate. Whether they spoke of Gibraltar or not is subject of conjecture, but it certainly seems to have caused the desired effect wanted by some. Maybe the man just went to introduce himself to her officially, since she is relatively new to the post, but the Spanish press knows just how to push those buttons and they do it with such gusto.

  2. (Contd) Even more so when it meant trying to get back at Gibraltar after having the EU throw back their “denuncias” about the bunkering, the reclamation of land in what are BGTW, which they now want to put a claim on, after donkey’s years of abiding by the UNCLOS rules, and a rebuke on the excessive and disproportionate queues at the frontier, and the fact Spain seems to have done nothing since the last visit by the EU. One would like to believe that the meeting may have been a testing of the waters, as far as the Opposition PSOE goes in regard to a renewal of dialogue is concerned. One can only wish that things get back to “normal” or as “normal” as they can be between both sides for everyone’s sake and dialogue is the way to go. We are, after all, in the XXI Century, aren’t we?

  3. “I am Ambassador to Spain! What’s so bizarre about me visiting Sevilla or any other part of the country to promote UK interests?”
    Quite correct, perhaps a little bit of paranoia on behalf of GSD.

  4. it looks like he was trying to hide his talk in Seville
    if he had been open about this from the start then no one would of thought anything about it

    But going on Twitter was stupid
    This chaps judgment is not sound
    He needs to be recalled to London for a little chat

  5. To be fair to the GSD, there have been so many important things concerning Gibraltar in the past that we have heard in the Spanish Press before there was any public knowledge of them, both during their time in office as well as with previous governments, that rather than call it paranoia, I would call it understandable. When there is another country trying to annex you against your wishes, you do tend to get a bit prickly.

  6. He is Britains ambassador to Spain, not Gibraltars ambassador to Spain and as such is answerable to London. If they want to control what an ambassador does and says, they should get their own by becoming independent. They can’t have it both ways.

  7. Erm, no refill, he is as much Gibraltar’s ambassador to Spain as the UK’s ambassador. The UK represents Gibraltar in foreign affairs. If he did discuss Gibraltar with the Junta, then, out of courtesy alone, he should have kept the Gibraltar Government informed.

  8. The man is right he doesn’t need to inform Gibraltar of his whereabouts or what he says but using twitter. What a prat.
    And the winner of Upperclass Twit of the Year 2014 is …..

  9. If he is ‘Gibraltar’s Ambassador’ then perhaps its about time he visited the territory and held some meetings with the Gibraltar government. It might help if he saw the frontier for himself rather than listening to lies in Madrid.

  10. @ Iestyn – yes of course but he hasn’t said he did discuss Gib
    @Bill – he isn’t Gib’s ambassador and I bet he is not allowed to visit here either. Went to Oxford so should know where it is.
    @refill – not worthy of a reply

  11. Bluemoon, you couldn’t resist giving me a mention in spit of my unworthy ness :) Some of us like Gibraltar but are not impressed with it’s greedy inhabitants, (and I’m not referring to the apes).

  12. @bluemoon, yes, I know, which is why I used the word “if” in both of my comments. The Spanish press certainly think he discussed Gibraltar…

  13. Refill …Your’e comments are hypocritical and beneath contempt..Look at your own country’s behaviour Spain before making such outlandish statements…Spain is the greediest ,least democratic,corrupt country in Europe..Capiche!

  14. @Jao

    I suppose that’s why so many Gibraltarians have residences in Spain. But don’t worry, Spain has formally announced that it is investigating the thousands of Gibraltar residents who own properties in Spain but are registered as living in Gibraltar.

    Spain has also commenced investigating suspected illegal activity in Gibraltar following the release of a report on an investigation conducted by OLAF at Spain’s instigation.
    I fear that it may be too late now for Mr Picardo to heed Mr Feetham’s advice on the desirability of removing the infamous concrete blocks – the proverbial cat is well and truly out of the bag now.

    Looks like, it’s becoming a little too hot for comfort in hell at the moment. No chance of it freezing-over just yet.

  15. How pathetic. Relying on a cheap trick to try and impersonate me. As if reasonable people are not able to distinguish your unintelligible rants and petty spitefulness from reasoned argument.

    Do you really think that people can’t see through your petty usurpation of my username?

    Tell me are you losing the plot or have you simply run out of your very own ideas?

    Hopefully the moderator will soon put your puerile petulance to an end.

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