By: The Canadian Press

Date: Thursday Jun. 23, 2011 1:56 PM PT

The Canadian Press has learned that the Harper government plans to appoint former British Columbia premier Gordon Campbell as Canada’s new high commissioner to Britain.

Campbell’s elevation to one of Canada’s highest diplomatic posts comes after he resigned last fall as B.C. premier.

The Liberal premier’s popularity plunged when he introduced the 12-per-cent harmonized sales tax in 2009.

Campbell resigned after 26 years in politics, nine of them as premier.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper also reached across partisan political lines in 2009 when he appointed Manitoba’s former NDP premier Gary Doer as his ambassador to Washington — considered Canada’s top diplomatic posting.

Sources say the announcement of Campbell’s appointment is days away.

Campbell would replace veteran career diplomat James Wright, who was appointed to the high commissioner’s post in August 2006, after previous diplomatic postings in Washington and Moscow.

One of Wright’s major responsibilities in London was dealing with Britain and other European allies during Canada’s combat mission in Afghanistan. He had previously served in London as political officer for four years in the early 1990s.