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Mar 31, 2000

Ashcroft becomes Peer, resigns as UN Rep.

Last year his name was splashed across the British press as the proverbial billionaire bull in a china shop. According to Fleet Street the bi-national Michael Ashcroft, who happened to be Belize’s Ambassador to the UN, was attempting to brashly parlay his position as the Conservative Party’s treasurer and biggest benefactor to attain new heights of power and prestige…all while enjoying the benefits of living abroad. Today it appears that he has largely succeeded…as Mr. Ashcroft is now Lord Ashcroft, having been named by Queen Elizabeth as one of 33 new “working peers” in Parliament’s House of Lords. The move however, comes at some cost to the maverick business magnate, who will now not only shift his base of operations back to Britain, but has also been obliged to resign as Belize’s top United Nation’s diplomat. While the government in Belmopan hopes that the resignation will not lessen Ashcroft’s interest and economic involvement in Belize, it is now left with the task of filling yet another vacant ambassadorship. The embassy in Guatemala is currently without permanent leadership following the serious illness of Mike Mena and there are indications that Ambassador James Murphy may soon be replaced as Belize’s man in Washington. As for New York and the UN, the hard working Stuart Leslie will run things until the dust settles…which may be some time.

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