UK ambassador to Mexico reportedly sacked after pointing gun at staff

The Foreign Office (PA Archive)
The Foreign Office (PA Archive)

The UK’s ambassador to Mexico has reportedly been sacked after footage emerged showing him pointing a gun at embassy staff.

The video, posted on X, showed veteran diplomat Jon Benjamin brandishing the weapon while travelling in a vehicle on an official trip.

Mr Benjamin is no longer listed as ambassador on his LinkedIn page and did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Reuters news agency.

The embassy in Mexico also did not respond, but a spokesperson for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) told the Standard: “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 ambassador was reportedly traveling through two Mexican states known for their heavy drug cartel presence when he picked up the gun and pointed it at an employee inside the vehicle they were traveling in.

His LinkedIn page says his term as ambassador ended in May, and a biography on the UK government website says he "was UK Ambassador to Mexico between 2021 and 2024".

Benjamin joined the diplomatic service in 1986 and has had posts in Turkey, Ghana, Indonesia and the US. He became UK ambassador to Mexico in 2021.

The north American nation is in the grip of a horrendous violent crime wave with record numbers of people being murdered and going missing.

It comes at a delicate time for diplomacy in the county which goes to the polls on Sunday in a historic presidential election in which the two main candidates are women, ushering in a new political era for Latin America's second-largest economy.

The candidate for ruling party MORENA, Claudia Sheinbaum, is heavily favored to win the presidency, with some polls putting her at a twenty-point advantage over main opposition candidate Xochitl Galvez, a senator with the center-right National Action Party.