Good luck to him (my ex-Skipper on Bristol) - hope he retains his unorthodox manner in voicing his (sometimes unpopular) opinions in public, and not turn into a Brown-ite "Yes" man. Ex Deputy Director and Director of Naval Intelligence, so has got a thumb in that particular pie.
Many years ago when I was a baby lawyer we had a lovely locum covering for the boss. For some reason the conversation drifted onto the topic that I was in the RNR. Bless her, the locum said (put on best posh squeaky locum voice)
Locum : ooo my brother in law is a sailor, perhaps you've met him?
RC : oh yes, and what is his name
Locum : Alan West?
RC: mm, not quite sure a PO RNR mixes with 1SL so no!
Ministers must be answerable to Parliament (or at least give the appearance of it). I assume Sir Alan will now follow such other distinguished Gunnery Jacks as Fisher, Jellicoe, Chatfield, Lewin and Hill-Norton to the Lords (but this time as a working hand). And when he leaves Govt this will give him a public platform from which to speak up for the Andrew. BZ I think.
Sir Alan, a former chief of defence intelligence, will be offered a peerage and will be expected to follow the Labour whip in the House of Lords, as will a handful of other â€œoutsidersâ€ given posts as ministers [you can't be a minister and NOT take the whip].
Whether they join the Labour Party will be a personal decision and it will not be a condition of taking the party whip in the Lords, Mr Brownâ€™s spokesman said.