Sir Philip Barton on Wednesday presented his credentials to the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, in a virtual ceremony, who accepted him as the UK’s new High Commissioner to India.
Sir Philip said: “It is the greatest honour and privilege of my diplomatic career to represent the UK in this wonderful country. The UK-India relationship is remarkable and we share an unparalleled breadth and depth of connection.”
“There is a deep commitment across the British government, industry and civil society to grow that relationship even further: developing our trade and economic partnership, now that the UK has left the EU; tackling the global challenges of climate change and green recovery, acting together as a force for good in the world; and working closely as partners to keep our countries safe and secure,” he added.
“I recognise that I am arriving at an extraordinarily difficult time,” Sir Philip said.
“Coronavirus is without precedent in modern times, but it has also brought out the importance of the modern partnership between the UK and India: from our excellent collaboration in developing and manufacturing a vaccine for global distribution, to securing essential medical supplies for health workers, to our joint determination to ‘build back better’ from this crisis.”
“I see my job as ensuring that this crucial partnership continues to prosper,” he said.
“We often speak of the “living bridge” of people, ideas and institutions that tie the UK and India together. I, too, am part of that bridge.”
“My mother was born in Shimla and I was posted here in Delhi in the 1990s. I met my wife, Amanda, when we both lived and worked here and we named our daughter ‘India’ – not knowing I would return one day as High Commissioner,” the UK’s new High Commissioner to India said.
“I am delighted to be back and look forward to continuing to build on what PM Modi has called an ‘unbeatable combination’ – a forward-looking, modern partnership between the UK and India,” he further said.
Sir Philip succeeds Sir Dominic Asquith, who served as High Commissioner to India from April 2016 to January 2020.
Jan Thompson, who served as Acting High Commissioner from February to June 2020, has returned to her role as Deputy High Commissioner.