David Cameron is being considered as a UK candidate to lead Nato when the position of secretary general next becomes vacant, according to reports.
The former Prime Minister could be put forward by Theresa May when the current head of the transatlantic defence alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, steps down in 2018 or 2019, sources close to Mr Cameron told the Daily Mail.
Friends of Mrs May’s predecessor, who is now earning up to £120,000 per appearance on the international lecture circuit, were quoted as saying that the UK should “play a greater role in European security and show EU allies that we want to play a constructive post-Brexit role on the continent”.
A member of Mrs May’s cabinet is reported to have said: “We’ve got to find a role for him – he has so much to offer. We have got to get him batting for Britain again.”
There is no formal process to select the Nato secretary general, with the 28 members of the alliance instead reaching an informal consensus. However, approval from the United States is key, with incoming US President Donald Trump demanding that European governments pay more towards collective defence.
The UK is one of just 5 Nato allies currently meeting a commitment to spend 2% of GDP on defence, and has filled the top position on three occasions.
Lord Ismay led Nato for five years from its foundation in 1952, with Lord Carrington serving between 1984-88 and Lord Robertson between 1999-2003.
A source close to Mr Cameron told the Mail: “The key at this stage is to flag high-level interest in leader level conversations and to show that our eventual candidate is visible and acceptable to everyone.
“That means a would-be candidate would need to start talking about the right issues and show up at various conferences such as the Munich Security Conference and Davos.”
A spokesperson for Mr Cameron did not comment when contacted by journalists.