Alp Mehmet MVO

Former British Diplomat / Vice-Chairman, Migration Watch UK

Born in Cyprus, came to London in 1956.  English was his third language, having spoken Turkish and Greek first.

Alp Mehmet is the vice-chairman of Migration Watch UK. He retired from the Diplomatic Service in mid-September 2008 after 29 years in the Service, which followed 9 years as an immigration officer in the Home Office.  While with the FCO, he served in Nigeria, Romania, Iceland (twice) and Germany. He was the first, first-generation, immigrant and first member of HM diplomatic service from a Muslim family to be appointed a British Ambassador.

His duties over the years have included: 

Press and public affairs work at the British Embassy in Berlin; political and press work at the British Embassy in Bucharest; spokesman on Asia and North America in the FCO’s press office; responsibility for FCO business in the Houses of Parliament while he was the department’s parliamentary clerk; private secretary to a FCO minister; visa work in Nigeria; and immigration officer at the major ports in the UK. 

During his career, he was also a trade union representative for many years and latterly was involved in FCO recruitment and spoke regularly to minority ethnic groups. He was a founder member of the FCO's ethnic minorities action group. 

Since retiring, he has reviewed Home Office visa policy in respect of countries from which the majority of immigrants come to the UK. He acts as an adviser to the government on the recruitment of deployable civilian experts for HMG’s Stabilisation Unit. Outside government and in addition to his role in Migration Watch UK, he is a special adviser on Iceland to FIPRA (a company providing public affairs and regulatory advice). He also sits on the board of a secondary school near Watford and a charity that helps victims of alcohol abuse. 

He writes regularly for various publications and websites and speaks publicly on immigration, other social issues, domestic politics and foreign affairs.

He was educated in east London at Parmiter’s grammar school and read Business Studies at Bristol Polytechnic (now the University of the West of England).

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