Peter Ricketts

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The Lord Ricketts
Official portrait of Lord Ricketts crop 2.jpg
British Ambassador to France
In office
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byPeter Westmacott
Succeeded byJulian King
United Kingdom National Security Advisor
In office
12 May 2010 – 23 January 2012
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byKim Darroch
Permanent Secretary, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
In office
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Gordon Brown
Preceded byMichael Jay
Succeeded bySimon Fraser
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
17 October 2016
Life Peerage
Personal details
Peter Forbes Ricketts

(1952-09-30) 30 September 1952 (age 70)
Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, England, UK
NationalityUnited Kingdom British
SpouseSuzanne Ricketts
EducationBishop Vesey's Grammar School
Alma materPembroke College, Oxford

Peter Forbes Ricketts, Baron Ricketts, GCMG, GCVO (born 30 September 1952)[1] is a retired British senior diplomat and a life peer. He has sat as a crossbencher in the House of Lords since 2016.

Ricketts served as chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) under Prime Minister Tony Blair. He was the UK government's first national security adviser from 2010 from 2012, serving under Prime Minister David Cameron.

Personal life[edit]

Ricketts attended Bishop Vesey's Grammar School, Sutton Coldfield, and Pembroke College, Oxford, where he read English Literature. He married Suzanne Horlington; they have two adult children.[2]

Diplomatic career[edit]

Ricketts began his career in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1974 and served as the Assistant Private Secretary to former Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe. He later served as the Permanent Representative to NATO in Brussels. Apart from Brussels, he has been posted to Singapore, Washington DC and Paris.

He served under Prime Minister Tony Blair as Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, leading him to give evidence to The Iraq Inquiry ("The Chilcot Report") in November 2009.[3] From 2006 to 2010, Ricketts served under Blair and Prime Minister Gordon Brown as the Permanent Secretary for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

He served under Prime Minister David Cameron as the UK National Security Adviser from 2010 to 2012. He replaced Peter Westmacott as HM Ambassador to France effective January 2012, with Kim Darroch taking Ricketts's old role as National Security Adviser.[4]

In January 2016, he stepped down as the UK Ambassador to France and retired from the Diplomatic Service.[5]

Public life[edit]

He was nominated for a life peerage in the 2016 Prime Minister's Resignation Honours and was created Baron Ricketts, of Shortlands in the County of Kent, on 17 October.[6][7] He now sits as a crossbencher.

Between 2016 and January 2022 he was a Strategic Adviser to Lockheed Martin UK.[8]

In October 2020 a cross-party group of MPs and peers, backed by Lord Ricketts, planned to take legal action against Prime Minister Boris Johnson over his government's refusal to order an inquiry into Russian interference in UK elections. The move followed the publication in July 2020 of the Russia report by parliament's intelligence and security committee (ISC), which found that the government and its intelligence services had failed to investigate Kremlin meddling in the 2016 EU referendum vote. The high court claim named Prime Minister Johnson as defendant.[9]

In April 2022, Ricketts called Marine Le Pen's proposal for a Franco-British defence cooperation treaty "ignorant and dangerous."[10]


He was appointed CMG in the 1999 Birthday Honours, Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in 2003,[11] Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) in the 2011 New Year Honours,[12] and Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) in 2014.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Foreign Policy in an Era of Globalisation. Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations. Thursday 15 2009.
  2. ^ Who's Who 2001. A&C Black, London. 2001. p. 1751. ISBN 0-7136-5432-5. Accessed 2 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Iraq inquiry told of 'clear' threat from Saddam Hussein". BBC News. BBC. 24 November 2009. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
  4. ^ "Senior Diplomatic Appointments". Number 10. 24 June 2011. Retrieved 25 June 2011.
  5. ^ "Change of Her Majesty's Ambassador to France". Foreign & Commonwealth Office. 18 December 2015.
  6. ^ "Resignation Peerages 2016" (PDF).
  7. ^ "No. 61738". The London Gazette. 21 October 2016. p. 22392.
  8. ^ "Summary of business appointments applications - Sir Peter Ricketts".
  9. ^ Harding, Luke (29 October 2020). "Legal action taken against PM over refusal to investigate Kremlin meddling". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 April 2022.
  10. ^ Wintour, Patrick (13 April 2022). "Le Pen's plans for post-Brexit treaty 'ignorant and dangerous'". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 April 2022.
  11. ^ "No. 57100". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 October 2003. p. 10.
  12. ^ "No. 59647". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2010. p. 3.
  13. ^ "No. 60916". The London Gazette. 27 June 2014. p. 12742.

External links[edit]

Media related to Peter Ricketts at Wikimedia Commons

Government offices
Preceded by Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee
Succeeded by
Preceded by Director-General, Political of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Succeeded by
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Council (NATO)
Succeeded by
Government offices
Preceded by Permanent Under-Secretary of State
Succeeded by
Preceded by
New position
Prime Minister’s National Security Adviser
Succeeded by
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by British Ambassador to France
Succeeded by
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by Gentlemen
Baron Ricketts
Followed by
The Lord Llewellyn of Steep