Leigh Turner

Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

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8th March 2020 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Maiden – awesome, inspirational women on the big screen

I recently had co-hosted a special premiere of Maiden, the gripping story of how Tracy Edwards, a 24-year-old Briton, became the skipper of the first ever all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World race in 1989.  The race, today known as the Volvo Ocean Race, was a brutal competition comprised of six legs […]

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5th March 2020 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Authors you should read more

I’m looking at my bookshelf at home when I notice a weird similarity to the rogues’ gallery of former British ambassadors to Austria in the embassy. My bookshelf is dominated by male authors. The rogues’ gallery for Vienna is exclusively male, up until my excellent predecessor, Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque (in Vienna 2012-16). Male domination […]

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28th February 2020 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

My Welsh Great-Grandfather, literature and football

1 March is St David’s Day, named after the patron saint of Wales who died in 589.  I’m part-Welsh: my great-grandfather John Derfel (photo above) came from the the town of Llanderfel in north Wales and was the son of the Welsh poet and political writer Robert Jones Derfel (for the Welsh-language Wikipedia entry, click here). According to […]

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11th February 2020 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

How the British residence in Vienna was rescued: 1945-1950

“It is open to doubt whether this location in Vienna is really suitable for the Minister’s residence… it can in no way be considered a pleasant district in which to live.” How times change! Historic papers we recently unearthed about the restoration of the British ambassador’s residence at Metternichgasse 6 in Vienna after 1945 contain […]

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4th February 2020 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

All eyes on the UK’s tech sector

The UK has one of the world’s largest technology ecosystems with thousands of tech start-ups. As the third largest technology sector in the world, the UK is a global technology leader, with the state-of-the-art capabilities and resources to stay ahead of the curve. In the first eight months of 2019 alone, London attracted 114 FinTech […]

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16th January 2020 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Great theatres: in London and Vienna

Where in Vienna can you find a portrait of Elizabeth the First, which features also Romeo; Juliet; and the only known self-portrait of Gustav Klimt? A wise person has brought to my attention the depiction by Gustav Klimt on the ceiling of the Burgtheater, Vienna’s sumptuous theatre, of Shakespeare’s “Globe” Theatre.  A painting of a […]

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14th January 2020 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

New video: an update for UK nationals in Austria

Video Script: Where are we with Brexit? The Withdrawal Agreement Bill is working its way through Parliament in London. Once confirmed in the UK, it has to be agreed by the European Parliament. The UK will then leave the European Union, with a deal, on 31st January at 11pm UK time. At this point, we […]

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10th January 2020 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

A tobacco bust in Slovakia

At a nondescript warehouse in Eastern Slovakia, fine tobacco dust fills the air, and the lungs of the workers. The remote building has been sealed carefully to keep any smells and sounds hidden from the outside world, which might give away its true nature. When Slovak officers arrive, they act quickly, arresting 47 people involved […]

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19th December 2019 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

A French pacifist, a British Embassy and a “British Schindler”

It is the summer of 1914 and a political assassination has shocked Europe.  Not the one you are thinking of – but one which will lead to a change of name for the street in Vienna on which the British Embassy sits – the Jaurèsgasse. French politician Jean Jaurès, sometimes described as “one of the […]

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9th December 2019 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Liverpool-Salzburg crunch match – who’d have thought? Plus: travel advice

Austria has been awarded a fantastic early Christmas present on 10 December. At 1755 local time on Tuesday night Liverpool will visit to play Red Bull Salzburg in the final game of the Champions’ League group stage.  Both teams need a result: if Liverpool lose they are likely to go out of the competition.  If […]

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About Leigh Turner

I hope you find this blog interesting and, where appropriate, entertaining. My role in Vienna covers the relationship between Austria and the UK as well as the diverse work of…

I hope you find this blog interesting and, where appropriate, entertaining. My role in Vienna covers the relationship between Austria and the UK as well as the diverse work of the UN and other organisations; stories here will reflect that.

About me: I arrived in Vienna in August 2016 for my second posting in this wonderful city, having first served here in the mid-1980s. My previous job was as HM Consul-General and Director-General for Trade and Investment for Turkey, Central Asia and South Caucasus based in Istanbul.

Further back: I grew up in Nigeria, Exeter, Lesotho, Swaziland and Manchester before attending Cambridge University 1976-79. I worked in several government departments before joining the Foreign Office in 1983.

Keen to go to Africa and South America, I’ve had postings in Vienna (twice), Moscow, Bonn, Berlin, Kyiv and Istanbul, plus jobs in London ranging from the EU Budget to the British Overseas Territories.

2002-6 I was lucky enough to spend four years in Berlin running the house, looking after the children (born 1992 and 1994) and doing some writing and journalism.

To return to Vienna as ambassador is a privilege and a pleasure. I hope this blog reflects that.

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