(This July 29 story corrects cause of death in paragraph 7)
LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday led tributes to Britain’s former ambassador to the United States, Christopher Meyer, who served as the go-between for George Bush and Tony Blair and has died at the age of 78.
Meyer served as Britain’s envoy to Washington for six years under then prime minister Blair. His posting spanned a turbulent period including the end of the Clinton administration, the 9/11 attacks and build-up to the Iraq war.
“Saddened to hear of the death of Sir Christopher Meyer. He was a dedicated public servant throughout his career and devoted his life to international diplomacy. My thoughts are with his wife Catherine and his loved ones,” Johnson said on Twitter.
Catherine Meyer is a Conservative member of the upper house of parliament, the House of Lords, and serves as Johnson’s trade envoy to Ukraine.
Known for his fondness for red socks, Meyer was an active user of Twitter under the handle @sirsocks and as recently as Wednesday had opined on the ongoing Conservative Party leadership contest to choose Johnson’s successor.
Meyer also served as ambassador to Germany, as press secretary to prime minister John Major and chaired Britain’s independent press watchdog.
The Daily Mail reported that he suffered heart failure while at his home in the French Alps.
In his controversial 2005 memoirs, “DC Confidential”, Meyer said Blair had been “seduced by the glamour of U.S. power” and described several ministers as “political pygmies”.
He also claimed that Blair’s chief of staff, Jonathan Powell, had instructed him to “to get up the arse of the White House and stay there”.
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by William Schomberg)