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Gibraltar governor announces surprise departure

gibraltarThe governor of Gibraltar has announced that he intends to resign from his post.

Sir James Dutton has served as governor only since December 2013. His predecessor had been in post for four years.

The resignation, unprecedented in Gibraltar’s modern history, was made “for purely personal and professional reasons” although Sir James added that the role was “more representational and ceremonial than I had expected.”

But reports are also circulating that he was frustrated that the post involved just liaison between the Foreign Office and the Gibraltar government instead of a proactive role in defending Gibraltar and countering Spanish aggression.

In accepting the post, which reports say had been talked up by the Foreign Office, Sir James left a high-profile position with a construction and engineering firm, Bechtel Corporation. Prior to that, he spent 37 years in the Royal Marines becoming one of the UK’s top military officers working with Nato, the Ministry of Defence and the US military in leading positions.

When his appointment was announced, he said he was looking forward to putting his many years of military experience and three years of commercial experience to good use.

Sir James is to step down in September, leaving the Foreign Office with the need to find a qualified successor within a short time frame.

Spain’s attitude towards Gibraltar has hardened since the current centre-right party of Mariano Rajoy came into power in 2011. The last few years have seen a few tense standoffs, with Spain blocking the border and Spanish vessels staging numerous incursions into British territorial waters.

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-7 #3 Peter Booker 2015-06-02 07:44
I know that Spaniards can persuade themselves that the case of Gibraltar is different from that of Ceuta, Melilla and the other Spanish possessions in North Africa; and that of Olivença is just forgotten. But in principle, I can see no difference.

I agree with chez that Gibraltar is grubby and unattractive, without space even for their "national" football side. If it is a British Overseas Territory, how does it compete on the international football scene? Does Gibraltar have a seat at FIFA? Did it vote for Blatter? Is this the reason for Sir James leaving?
-7 #2 Elsa 2015-06-02 07:02
Any mention of Spain's bad treatment of Gibraltararian's keeps swinging the discussion back to Portugal's grievance with the UK 1890 Mapa cor de rosa (Pink Map). As at :


So we have had 2 decades of Spanish harassment of Brits in their southern regions - including bulldozing their retirement homes and Portugal's constant mistreatment of Brits nationwide.

Making clear how meaningless these 2 countries declarations were when joining the EU that they would 'move on, let historic bygones be bygones' - the purpose of the European Union. Commerce - not War.

Yet in the UK - a more developed country - both these 'nationalities' get every opportunity to get moving on economically and are treated as well as any foreigners ! An imbalance that few comment on.
-5 #1 chez 2015-06-01 16:57
In my experience of working there, I found it to be a grimy little hole full of shady law firms and equally shady so-called tax professionals. He's made the right decision in my view.

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