Key diplomatic posts to be advertised by Labour

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The Independent Online
Key diplomatic posts will be advertised by Labour if it wins the general election in the hope of attracting leading businessmen to become ambassadors.

The plans, initially proposed by Robin Cook, the foreign affairs spokesman, at last year's party conference, will be contained in a document, Britain and the World, to be published later this month.

The decision to advertise ambassadorial jobs would be a radical departure from past practice of reserving posts for career diplomats and would herald a possible shake-up of the Foreign Office career structure. Party sources stressed that it would be limited to a handful of posts, probably in countries in the emerging Asia-Pacific region.