Charles Powell

From Wikispooks
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Person.png Charles Powell  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(diplomat, politician, businessman)
Charles Powell, Baron Powell of Bayswater.jpg
BornCharles David Powell
6 July 1941
Alma materThe King's School, The Cathedral Choir School, New College (Oxford)
ParentsJohn Frederick Powell
SpouseCarla Bonardi
Member ofBarrick Gold, Council on Foreign Relations/Global Board of Advisors, European Council on Foreign Relations, Henry Jackson Society, International Institute for Strategic Studies/Advisory Council, Le Cercle
Le Cercle, House of Lords, Key advisor to Thatcher, on the payroll of various defence companies

Employment.png British Business Ambassador

In office
2010 - Present

Employment.png Co-Chairman

In office
2006 - 2014
EmployerAsia Task Force

Employment.png Director

In office
1995 - Present
EmployerLouis Vuitton Moet-Hennessy
Preceded byPiero Ostellino

Employment.png Director

In office
1992 - Present
EmployerJardine Matheson Group Companies

Not to be confused with Charles Powell (Integrity Initiative), a member of the II's Spanish Cluster

Charles David Powell, Baron Powell of Bayswater, KCMG is a spooky British diplomat, politician and businessman. He attended Le Cercle. His brother, Jonathan Powell, was chief of staff to Tony Blair throughout his period as Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007.


Charles Powell went to The Cathedral Choir School, Canterbury, The King's School, Canterbury and then got a BA in modern history from New College, Oxford in 1963.


Charles Powell became a diplomat in 1963. His first posting was as Third Secretary to Helsinki in 1965, where he was promoted to Second Secretary. In 1968, he returned to London, spending three years at the FCO. He was posted as First Secretary to Washington, D.C. in 1971, and became the Ambassador's Private Secretary. Subsequent postings were to Bonn in 1974 and, as Counsellor, to UKREP Brussels in 1980.[1]

Al-Yamamah arms deal

Full article: Al-Yamamah arms deal
Al yamamah.jpg

Powell was seconded to 10 Downing Street and was Private Secretary to Margaret Thatcher (1983 to 1990) and then as Private Secretary to John Major (1990 to 1991). During his time working for Mrs Thatcher, he became one of her most trusted foreign policy aides, and helped broker the Al-Yamamah arms deal with Saudi Arabia.[2]

Russian Business

E. P. Heidner refers to Lord Powell as a "key member" of "Diligence and its sister company New Bridge... demonstrat[ing] the Western political and financial muscle working with the Yeltsin family".[3]

House of Lords

He is a member of the House of Lords and has been on a range of committees since 2000:

  • Procedure Committee Jun 2015 -
  • Constitution Committee Jun 2010 - Mar 2015
  • European Union Committee Nov 2006 - Apr 2010
  • EU Sub-Committee B - Internal Market Nov 2006 - Apr 2010
  • Economic Affairs Committee Jun 2005 - Nov 2006
  • EU Sub-Committee C - Foreign Affairs, Defence and Development Policy Nov 2003 - Nov 2004[4]

Brunei conflict of interest

In 2005, it was revealed that Powell had been acting as Tony Blair's special envoy to Brunei, an unpaid role, for several years. This was controversial because Powell was on the payroll of BAE Systems, and the company was at the time in dispute with Brunei over the purchase of three warships. Lord Powell denied a conflict of interest over both his links to BAE and the fact his brother Jonathan Powell was Tony Blair's chief of staff.[5]


As of 2015, he was receiving a salary in the following capacities:

Deep political connections

He attended Le Cercle in the early 1990s. As of 2015, he was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations/Global Board of Advisers.[4]


His brother, Jonathan Powell, was chief of staff to Tony Blair throughout his period as UK Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007, and his father was Air Vice-Marshal John Frederick Powell.


Events Participated in

Munich Security Conference/200920092009The 45th Munich Security Conference
Munich Security Conference/20105 February 20107 February 2010Germany
An anti-war demonstration outside described it as "Nothing more than a media-effectively staged war propaganda event, which this year had the purpose of justifying the NATO troop increase in Afghanistan and glorifying the continuation of the war as a contribution to peace and stability."
Munich Security Conference/20131 February 20133 February 2013Germany
The 49th Munich Security Conference
Munich Security Conference/201431 January 20142 February 2014Germany
The 50th Munich Security Conference
Munich Security Conference/20156 February 20158 February 2015Germany
"400 high-ranking decision-makers in international politics, including some 20 heads of state and government as well as more than 60 foreign and defence ministers, met in Munich to discuss current crises and conflicts."
Munich Security Conference/202218 February 202220 February 2022Germany
Many thanks to our Patrons who cover ~2/3 of our hosting bill. Please join them if you can.


  1. The Diplomatic Service List 1989 (page 278), HMSO, ISBN 0-11-591707-1.
  2. {{URL||optional display text}}
  3. Document:Collateral_Damage_911
  4. a b c
  5. {{URL||optional display text}}