Former British High Commissioner to Ghana loses top job after ‘pointing gun at staff’

Jon Benjamin, the UK ambassador to Mexico, reportedly left his position earlier this year after pointing a gun at a local embassy staff member.

A video posted on social media, first reported by the Financial Times, allegedly shows the former British High Commissioner to Ghana aiming a rifle at another man while peering down the weapon’s sights. The video was captioned: “In [the] context of daily killings in Mexico by drug dealers, he dares to joke.”

Mr. Benjamin has yet to comment on what appears to have been a poorly executed joke.

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has not officially announced Mr. Benjamin’s departure, but he is no longer listed as the ambassador to Mexico on the government’s official website, which notes his tenure as “between 2021 and 2024.”

Also Read: Family of Ghanaian man shot dead in US appeals for funds to support his children

The video shows a man resembling Mr. Benjamin moving a weapon around inside a car, aiming it at different people while laughter is heard in the background. One man appears visibly uncomfortable as the gun is pointed at him.

Mr. Benjamin, known for his unconventional approach by the standards of most UK diplomats, arrived in Mexico following previous postings in Ghana and Chile. He was very active on social media, with a significant following on X, often engaging directly with followers on topics such as African politics, football, and rock music. He cultivated a more approachable persona compared to other ambassadors.

In Mexico, as in his previous postings, Mr. Benjamin strongly supported the soft power of British rock and indie music. An avid music fan, he encouraged major UK bands and artists to visit Mexico, sometimes hosting them at his residence before their concerts. For decades, he was the Rolling Stones’ chief contact within the FCDO, assisting the band with the complex paperwork for their global live performances.

Mr. Benjamin appeared deeply engaged with Mexico from the start of his tenure in 2021, traveling extensively across its 32 states. The incident with his staff occurred during a trip to the drug cartel-controlled states of Sinaloa and Durango.

With over 30,000 murders last year, Mexico has strict gun laws and only one gun shop located in a military complex in Mexico City. The ambassador’s brandishing of a gun amid such high levels of drug-related violence has deeply affected embassy staff and many Mexicans.

Also Read: One arrested in Tamale for illegal possesion of firearms

Even if intended as a joke, the incident involving an apparently loaded machine gun in one of Mexico’s most dangerous regions was a grave misjudgment.

A routine trip to northern Mexico seemingly led to an ignominious end to Mr. Benjamin’s otherwise distinguished career in the FCDO.

The FCDO told the Financial Times: “We are aware of this incident and have taken appropriate action.

“Where internal issues do arise the FCDO has robust HR processes to address them.”

The BBC has reached out to Mr. Benjamin and the FCDO for further comments.

Talented blogger who is known for her engaging and insightful content. Her writing is characterized by its clarity, creativity, and authenticity, making her blog a must-read for people who are interested in a wide range of topics. Vera is an excellent storyteller who is able to captivate her readers with her compelling narratives. She has a talent for bringing her ideas to life through vivid descriptions and colorful language, which allows her readers to fully immerse themselves in her stories.

Latest articles

Related articles

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here