Sir William Charters Patey, KCMG (born 11 July 1953) is a former British Ambassador to Afghanistan. Sir William retired from HM Diplomatic Service, and was replaced by Sir Richard Stagg, formerly British High Commissioner to India, in April 2012. Patey previously served as Ambassador to Sudan, Ambassador to Iraq and Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Sir William is a Patron of the charity Kids for Kids, helping children in rural areas of Darfur, Sudan.
He joined the FCO in 1975. He went to the Middle East Centre for Arabic Studies (MECAS) from 1977-8. From 2005-6 he was the Ambassador to Iraq and from 2002-5 the Ambassador to Sudan. Patey gave evidence to The Iraq Inquiry on 24 November 2009 and 5 January 2010. He joined Control Risks as Government and International Relations Adviser in July 2012 and became a non executive Director of HSBC Bank Middle East on 10 July 2012. Justifying British support for, and arms sales to, serial human rights violators in the Middle East in November 2012—that is, even in the face of the Arab Spring—Patey said, "The people in the Gulf will say, 'you of all people should understand why evolutionary change is better than revolutionary change'," referring to European revolutions.
Already a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG), Patey was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in the 2009 New Year Honours List.
He married Vanessa Morrell in 1978. They have two sons. Patey is an avid cinema goer.
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