Linda Duffield

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Linda Duffield is the Chief Executive Officer of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy.[1]

She was educated in Paris at the Ecole Nationale d'Administration between 1985 and 1987. After joining the FCO in 1987 she worked in the EU Department until 1988. She was posted to Moscow as First Secretary, Commercial from 1989 to 1992. She worked in London as Deputy Head of the Eastern Department from 1993 to 1994. Linda Duffield spent four years in Ottawa as the Deputy British High Commissioner to Canada from 1995 to 1999. She served in Colombo as British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka from 1999 to 2002.

Wider Europe Command

She was Director of the Wider Europe Command of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 2002 to 2004.[2]

The former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, had a meeting with Duffield while in London for a January 2003 conference. According to Murray, Duffield warned him against focusing on human rights at the expense of other objectives.[3]

In March 2003, Murray was summoned to a further meeting with Duffield, the head of the Foreign Office's Whitehall Liaison Department, Matthew Kydd and the Foreign Office legal adviser, Sir Michael Wood. According to Murray, Duffield assured him that his concerns about torture in Uzbekistan had been discussed by the Permanent Secretary, Sir Michael Jay, the Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and the head of MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove. Wood assured him that Britain's use of Uzbek intelligence material was legal, which Murray disputed. Kydd told the meeting that the security services regarded Uzbek intelligence as operationally useful, which Murray also disputed.[4]

In a note on this meeting for the Permanent Secretary, Duffield wrote:

2. Craig said his concerns had been prompted by a presentation to the Uzbek authorities by Professor Korff (OSCE Adviser) on the UN Convention on Torture. Craig said that his understanding was that it was also an offence under the Convention to receive or to possess information obtained under torture. He asked for clarification on this. Michael Wood replied that he did not believe that possession of information was in itself an offence, but undertook to re-read the Convention and to ensure that Craig had a reply on this particular point.
3. I gave Craig a copy of your revised draft telegram (attached) and took him through this. I said that he was right to raise with you and Ministers (Jack Straw) his concerns about important legal and moral issues. We took these very seriously and gave a great deal of thought to such issues ourselves. There were difficult ethical and moral issues involved and at times difficult judgements had to be made weighing one clutch of "moral issues" against another. It was not always easy for people in post (embassies) to see and appreciate the broader picture, eg piecing together intelligence material from different sources in the global fight against terrorism. But that did not mean we took their concerns any less lightly.[5]

Her note concluded:

I think it was right to see him. I am not sure this is the end of the issue (or correspondence), but it was a frank and amicable discussion and Craig appears to be making efforts to balance his work on human rights with other FCO objectives. We shall, of course, be reviewing these again once he has produced his post objectives for the upcoming year.[6]


Duffield served as HM Ambassador to Prague from 2004 to 2009.[7]


Democracy and Security International Conference, Attendee[8]| European Stability Initiative, Speaker 2008 [9]

External Resources


  1. Linda Duffield CEO, Westminster Foundation for Democracy, accessed 6 July 2010.
  2. Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK Ambassador’s Career History, Accessed 26-February-2009
  3. Craig Murray, Murder in Samarkand, Mainstream Publishing, 2007, p.152.
  4. Craig Murray, Murder in Samarkand, Mainstream Publishing, 2007, pp.160-163.
  5. Craig Murray, Proof of Complicity in Torture,, 30 June 2010.
  6. Craig Murray, Proof of Complicity in Torture,, 30 June 2010.
  7. Linda Duffield CEO, Westminster Foundation for Democracy, accessed 6 July 2010.
  8. Democracy and Security Conference, List of Participants, Accessed 25-February-2009
  9. ESI, Communicating Europe Seminar (2008), Biographies of Speakers, Accessed 26-February-2009