Government Confirms Controversial Appointment of Tony Abbott

The Government has confirmed the controversial of Tony Abbott, the former Prime Minister of Australia, as an advisor to the Board of Trade. Emily Thornberry, the Shadow International Trade Secretary said that “his history of offensive statements” should have meant that he was appointed.

Thornberry said:

“There are two factors that should have immediately disqualified Tony Abbott from this role. First, his history of offensive statements is so long and repetitive that it speaks to serious defects in his character, which is not one I think should be representing Britain on the world stage. And second, the fact that he has no experience of detailed trade negotiations, no understanding of Brexit, no belief in climate change, no concern for workers’ rights, and no compunction about killing off Australia’s car industry mean, to my mind, that he has no credentials for this role.”

Liz Truss, the International Trade Secretary, said in a statement:

“The new Board of Trade will play an important role in helping Britain make the case for free and fair trade across the UK and around the world. At a time of increased protectionism and global insecurity, it’s vital that the UK is a strong voice for open markets and that we play a meaningful role in reshaping global trading rules alongside like-minded countries.”

The advisers to the Board of Trade include:

Secretary of State for Scotland

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

Secretary of State for Wales

Minister for Trade Policy (invited when relevant to Ministerial portfolio)

Minister for Investment (invited when relevant to Ministerial portfolio)

Minister for Exports (invited when relevant to Ministerial portfolio)

Minister for International Trade (invited when relevant to Ministerial portfolio)

The Hon Tony Abbott

Karen Betts

Anne Boden MBE

Daniel Hannan

Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt

Emma Howard Boyd

Michael Liebreich

Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of the City of London, William Russell

Dr Linda Yueh