Alex Ellis CMG, British High Commissioner to India

I am delighted to return to India, my home from 35 years ago. I remember my time fondly – trekking in the Himalayas, exploring the beautiful cities and taking in the night sky in the desert near Jaisalmer. I hope to see even more this time around and look forward to starting tomorrow by visiting Chennai.

This is a significant year for the UK-India partnership, both bilaterally and on the global stage. The UK government has made clear the importance it places on this relationship, as visits by the Foreign and Trade Secretaries underline. My immediate priorities include preparing for the UK Prime Minister’s upcoming visit to India and, I hope, welcoming India to the G7 and COP26 summits in the UK later this year.

Long term, I will be looking to build a deeper, more forward looking partnership with India that benefits both our peoples and the world, through creating jobs by increased trade and investment, furthering our excellent health cooperation, working to keep our countries safe, and tackling the global challenge of climate change together. It also means nurturing the unique “living bridge” of people and ideas that ties us together, and makes the UK-India relationship like no other.


Alex Ellis joined Her Majesty’s Government in 1990 and has previously served as Director General in the Department for Exiting the EU, and as British Ambassador to Brazil (2013 – 2017) and Portugal (2007-10). Prior to arriving in New Delhi last month, Alex served as Deputy National Security Adviser in the Cabinet Office. See his full bio.

Alex succeeds Sir Philip Barton, who served as High Commissioner to India from June 2020 to August 2020 before returning to London to take up the role of Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. Jan Thompson, who served as Acting High Commissioner from August 2020 to January 2021, has returned to her role as Deputy High Commissioner.

Our partnership with India

Our partnership with India helps enhance investment and trade; increase prosperity and jobs in both countries; strengthen joint action on global issues of mutual concern; widen access to knowledge and technology and support the UK’s global security objectives.

Our targeted and catalytic support is designed to help India address its constraints to growth, accelerate development for the good of all its people and generate a return for Britain by creating new markets for trade and investment.


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