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Vice Admiral Sir David Steel is Gibraltar’s new Governor

The UK Government has confirmed the appointment of Vice Admiral Sir David Steel KBE, DL as Governor of Gibraltar.

Sir David succeeds Lieutenant General Edward Davis CB CBE, who left Gibraltar last February after four years in the post.

Sir David had been due to be appointed earlier this year but the announcement was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He had been tipped by GBC as the frontrunner for the post in a report last November, but the UK Government did official name him until yesterday.

Sir David is due to take up the appointment in June having stepped down from his post as chief executive of Leeds Castle in April.

Sir David held the chief executive post for six years after a long and distinguished career in the Royal Navy, where he held a number of senior posts and served in the Falklands war and Kosovo.

He retired from the military as Second Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Personnel, Training and Infrastructure, having previously served as Naval Secretary and Director of Personnel and Career Management; Director of Armed Forces Pay and Manning at the Ministry of Defence; Chief Executive and Naval Base Commander Portsmouth, and Sea Area Commander English Channel; Executive Assistant to the First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff; Director of Logistics for the Royal Navy; and, prior to that, Director of Legal and Personnel Services at the Royal Navy.

Sir David has also served as Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty the Queen.

Last month, Sir David chose the Leeds and Broomfield parish newsletter to tell the wider public of his decision to leave Leeds Castle, which he said left him “overwhelmed by sadness”.

He paid special thanks to his “family” at Leeds Castle since he arrived in 2015 after a long and distinguished Naval career, according to the Dwns Mail.

“For the last five years, that family has welcomed and tolerated me in a way I might never have thought possible,” Sir David wrote in the parish newsletter.

“With all my quirkiness, stupid old-fashioned Naval habits, complete OCD when it comes to standards and, at times, some pretty made ideas as to how to take Leeds Castle forward, I have been treated with a kindness and understanding that I have not deserved but shall never forget.”

He said he had tried to reach out to the community and to operate alongside local businesses and organisations.

The delay in announcing his appointment had raised questions in the House of Lords, where former Governor Lord Luce queried last March why it was taking so long.

“A new Governor was selected before Lieutenant General Edward Davis' contract expired and we are completing the process for confirming that appointment,” said Baroness Sugg, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, at the time.

“It is not unusual for there to be a gap between Governors.”

Since Lt Gen Davis left Gibraltar in February, the post of Governor has been filled on an interim basis by Nick Pyle, the Foreign Office official who until then had been Deputy Governor, a post he will resume once Sir David arrives on the Rock and is sworn in.

The Government of Gibraltar welcomed the appointment of Sir David as Governor of Gibraltar.

In common with the Chief Minister, Sir David is also a Master of the Bench at The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, one of four Inns of Court in England and Wales.

Fabian Picardo said: “All in Gibraltar and Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar will look forward to welcoming Sir David to the Rock in June.”

“I very much look forward to working with him.”