Tim Barrow, the newly appointed UK Ambassador to the European Union (EU), was raised and educated in Leamington Spa. Claims in national papers that he attended the University of Warwick are, however, false.
With the triggering of Article 50, effectively putting Brexit in motion, expected to be just weeks away, the Ambassadorship is one of the most important and powerful roles in UK diplomacy.
Born in 1964, Barrow attended the co-educational Arnold Lodge School before moving to the Warwick School, a boy’s public school, for the years 1975–82.
Barrow went on to study at the University of Oxford, before joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1986. He has held major diplomatic roles in the likes of Brussels and Moscow, where he was UK Ambassador from 2011-2015.
Major news sources are reporting Barrow as having attended Warwick and then going on to further study at Oxford based on his Wikipedia page, which the University has confirmed as false.
They said: “There is no record of anyone of his name as having attended the University. From what we can gather the reference comes from a now no-longer accessible Russian website, which we surmise either misunderstood or mistranslated his time at Warwick School as being the University.”
Barrow’s appointment as UK Ambassador to the EU follows the surprise resignation of Sir Ivan Rogers the day before the announcement of Barrow, on 3 January 2017.
In a lengthy email sent to civil servant staff upon resigning, Sir Rogers urged: “I hope you will continue to challenge ill-founded arguments and muddled thinking and that you will never be afraid to speak the truth to those in power.”
Barrow himself wrote of his appointment: “I am honoured to be appointed as the UK’s Permanent Representative to the EU at this crucial time. I look forward to joining the strong leadership team at the Department for Exiting the EU and working with them and the talented staff at UKRep to ensure we get the right outcome for the United Kingdom as we leave the EU.”
Boris Johnson, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, tweeted: “Fantastic to have Tim Barrow as new UK Representative to EU. A brilliant and highly respected diplomat who will get the best deal for the UK.”