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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UK in Austria

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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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4th November 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

British education: major visa reform for post-study visas

I commend a recent British Council blog, written by Education Director Maddalaine Ansell. Ms Ansell writes about the major reform to post-work study visas for international students which the UK Government has announced will enter into force from 2020.  “From next year,” she writes, “students graduating from British higher education institutions with at least an […]

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31st October 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

The Government Art Collection in Vienna

The Duke of Wellington stares across the room towards a distant Queen Victoria, while Emperor Franz Josef – sash, ‘tache and all – observes impassively. Not the plot of a historical novel, but the paintings in the dining room at the ambassador’s residence in Vienna. Works from the Government Art Collection (GAC) are displayed in […]

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25th October 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

White trees, blue skies and a green plan

Have you ever wondered why the trees are painted white in Vienna? To stop cars running into them, protect them from dogs? The special paint protects new bark from the summer sun! Woodland trees don’t require sun cream but the intense environments of our cities means it’s not only humans who need protection from harmful […]

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17th October 2019 Vienna, Austria

Nerys Jones

Deputy Head of Mission, British Embassy Vienna

Discovering Austria through Hiking in the Fog

“Are you getting out?” “Yes”, I replied. “I’m getting out of the cable car.  And the Prime Minister has made clear we will leave the EU on 31 October.“ I never thought I would have to explain British Government policy whilst trying to jump out of a moving cable car.  But perhaps it helps. Part […]

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15th October 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

Healthcare for UK nationals in Austria after Brexit

The UK is preparing to leave the EU on 31st October. If there is a deal, your current rights as a resident of Austria will remain the same, as long as you remain resident in Austria. If there is no deal, your access to healthcare may change. The UK Government is working hard to secure […]

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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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