During a colourful diplomatic career John Leahy was involved in a number of delicate situations. Private Secretary to Selwyn Lloyd, Foreign Office Spokesman, Under-Secretary in Northern Ireland, and Ambassador to South Africa. Later, as Deputy Under-Secretary for Africa and Middle East, he was sent on an unavailing mission to Gadhafi in Tripoli; on a special assignment to assess the safety of war-torn Beirut before a royal visit; and on a hazardous journey to the rebel-held region of Angola to bring back a group of British hostages. On his last assignment as High Commissioner in Australia he had to cope with the ramifications of the notorious Spycatcher trial. His book contains many close-ups of leading political figures of the time. After retiring from the Diplomatic Service Sir John held a number of non-executive appointments, before becoming Chairman of Lonrho. His account of events leading up to the dismissal of Tiny Rowland from the company is of absorbing interest.
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