Shock as Britain's Lord Hill gets senior EU financial services job

 
Emma Haslett
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Lord Hill's appointment is seen as an olive branch to David Cameron (Source: Flickr/ukhouseoflords)
New EU president Jean-Claude Juncker has appointed relative unknown Lord Hill of Oareford to oversee Europe's financial services sector - one of the most prized jobs on the European Commission.
The announcement came as rather a surprise - the UK government had expected Hill to be given a relatively junior economic role.
It will be seen as a peace offering to David Cameron, who was strongly against Juncker's election to the role of EU chief.
There had been hints from the EU that Cameron's failed campaign to prevent the former Luxembourg president Juncker from being elected to his post would cost the UK when it came to assigning roles in the EU presidency. But the appointment is a sign of how seriously the new leadership takes its relationship with the UK.
Having worked in various roles at Westminster since the 1990s, Hill has kept a low profile as a minister and lobbyist. Although the list of clients during his lobbying career includes firms in the finance sector, he has no experience working in finance.
That he will have to help Europe negotiate bends in the road at the end of the deepest recession in a generation shows just what a gamble Juncker is prepared to take in the interests of his relationship with the UK.

While David Cameron called the appointment a "great piece of news", George Osborne tweeted his delight:

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