British Ambassador in Kuwait brought home after Embassy worker gets pregnant... risking 100 lashes
28th February 2010
Britain's Ambassador to Kuwait has left his post following claims that he had an affair with a married Embassy worker who is now pregnant.
Michael Aron has moved back to Britain to take up a job in Whitehall – just over a year after starting the important role in the Middle East.
His return came after rumours of an affair with brunette Victoria Cumming, who is 15 years his junior, began circulating among the wealthy ex-pat community.
Miss Cumming, 35, worked at the British Embassy in Kuwait City and is married to Kuwait-based bank executive David Fisk.
She has now left their luxury apartment and returned to Britain. Friends say she plans to remain here until the baby is born.
Mr Aron, 50, has been married to Dr Rachel Aron, 48 – the British Ambassador to Belgium – for 23 years and the couple have four children, aged 23, 20, 15 and 13. They are now understood to have separated.
The Mail on Sunday yesterday put detailed questions to the Foreign Office regarding the alleged affair. But a spokesman would only say: ‘We don’t comment on the personal lives of individual employees or internal personnel issues.’
Under Kuwait’s strict Sharia Law, married couples who commit adultery can face a punishment of 100 lashes or three years in prison. Foreign nationals face the same penalty and are usually deported.
According to the Embassy’s website, each of Mr Aron’s predecessors remained in their post for at least three years. However, his tenure lasted just over 12 months.
Mr Aron, who is now deputy director of Middle East Affairs at the Foreign Office, with a brief including security issues, diplomatic relations and conflict in the region, was contacted by this newspaper regarding the allegations.
He said: ‘What do you want me to say?’ before putting down the phone. Miss Cumming is said to have been upset since returning to the UK and was described as ‘tearful’.
It is not known whether the pair have been in contact since leaving Kuwait.
Miss Cumming’s husband of nine years, David Fisk, who works for Gulf Bank as a communications executive, has remained at their apartment in the upmarket Sha’ab district of Kuwait, popular with diplomats and oil executives.
Yesterday he was on holiday in nearby Oman – 3,700 miles from Britain. Asked about his wife’s alleged affair and the pregnancy claims, he said: ‘OK. Right, and what do you expect from me?’ adding: ‘I don’t think there’s anything more to discuss really.’
When we asked the concierge at the seaview block about Miss Cumming, he said immediately: ‘Oh yes, I know her, she is the very pregnant English lady. She has returned to the UK, but her husband is still living here.’
Miss Cumming was a member of the British Ladies Society in Kuwait, of which Mr Aron was a Patron.
The society features on the Embassy’s website and its functions include a range of black-tie balls, held on traditional British anniversaries such as Burns Supper Night, a Poppy Ball on Remembrance Day and a St David’s Day ball.
The new patron of the society is Maria Pilar Fernandez Baker, the wife of Mr Aron’s replacement, Frank Baker.
One source close to Miss Cumming claimed she openly boasted that she was expecting the British Ambassador’s child. She said: ‘Vicki told us all that the baby was Michael’s and made no secret of it. We were all surprised because she is a married woman living with her husband.
‘Under Sharia law, she could face imprisonment if it was proved that the baby was not her husband’s, but she didn’t seem to care who knew.
‘The next we knew Michael announced he was leaving just before Christmas, even though he’d been in the post barely a year. He said he was being promoted and returning to London to take up a new posting.
‘I was puzzled because he told me that his wife Rachel, who visited last summer with their two youngest children, would be coming to join him in Kuwait when her posting came to an end this year.’
Mrs Aron, who has been ambassador to Belgium for the past two years and joined the Foreign Office in 1984 as a desk officer in Cyprus, said: ‘So how do you think that is helpful to me?’
Asked to comment further, she laughed and said: ‘It’s a joke. Thank you. Goodbye.’
Mr Aron and his wife, who met while working for the Foreign Office, own a £650,000 white wood-panelled detached property in Otford, near Sevenoaks, Kent, which is currently being rented out.
One of the tenants at the property said: ‘My wife heard from the letting agent that the Arons were selling because they had separated and we are due to move out in May.’