London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

Liam Fox lobbied PM on behalf of trade group that pays him £1,000 an hour

Liam Fox lobbied PM on behalf of trade group that pays him £1,000 an hour

Former trade secretary is chairman of Global Britain Commission and wrote to Rishi Sunak pressing for export tax break
The former cabinet minister Liam Fox has been criticised for lobbying the prime minister on behalf of a business group that pays him £1,000 an hour.

Fox, a former trade secretary, is the chairman and a “commissioner” of the Global Britain Commission, whose members include representatives of the banking industry group UK Finance, the private bank Coutts, Heathrow, Virgin Atlantic, Forth Ports and others. It is expected to pay him £6,000 for six hours of work over the past six months.

In his role as a commissioner of the group, Fox wrote an open letter to the prime minister pressing for an export tax credit – a tax break for exporters – as well as a merger between the Department for Business and the Department for Trade – a move that Rishi Sunak made earlier this month.

His letter also highlighted the group’s recent recommendations before the budget calling for the scrapping of air passenger duty and changes to the apprenticeship levy, while requesting a meeting with the prime minister to discuss its suggestions.

Anneliese Dodds, the chair of the Labour party, criticised Fox’s work for the lobbying group, saying: “Rishi Sunak promised a government of professionalism, integrity and accountability at all levels. Now we learn that former ministers are making money hand over fist lobbying him on changes to the machinery of government.

“Rishi Sunak needs to be clear how much his grand relaunch was influenced by this lobbying group.

“There is no reason why former ministers should be moonlighting as consultants or lobbyists for huge fees. Labour tried to ban dodgy second jobs over a year ago but the Conservatives lined up to vote for a watered down cop-out. Rishi Sunak needs to deal with this issue urgently.”

Fox’s activities do not appear to fall foul of the rules that ban some forms of paid lobbying by MPs because the former cabinet minister is a member of the organisation rather than acting in an advisory capacity. This is permitted regardless of any financial benefit.

A spokesperson for Fox and the Global Britain Commission said: “The commission is cross-party and has met with both Labour and Conservative MPs as well as officials in government who all want to positively contribute to the UK’s growth, international standing and the creation of highly skilled jobs.

“Dr Fox is proud to chair the Global Britain Commission, which consists of some of the best people in British business and makes regular public contributions in the national interest on how to improve the UK’s prosperity and place in the world.”

Many MPs have cut back on work in second jobs since the furore over Owen Paterson lobbying for two companies cost him his seat and the controversy over Geoffrey Cox, the former attorney general, who was working abroad as a lawyer while parliament was sitting.

However, Fox is one of those to have recently taken on the new second job on a paid basis. He has been chair of the Global Britain Commission since 2021, but this became a paid role in August 2022, with the lobbying firm, Bradshaw Advisory, due to make the payment of £6,000 for the six months to January. He also received £10,000 in August for having done 15 hours of work.

The commission is described on the MPs’ register of members’ interests as an “independent, non-partisan, membership organisation which aims to ensure that economics and trade are at the heart of policy delivery”.

Fox is separately paid £10,000 every six months as a retainer by WorldPR, a company based in Panama, despite working no hours for them to date. WorldPR’s clients have previously included the late Chilean dictator AugustusAugusto Pinochet, a team of lawyers working for the Libyan government to secure the release of the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, and the Kazakh and Azerbaijani governments.

Related Articles

London Daily
Public Uptake of AI Tools Remains Limited
New Tax Rules on Second Homes in the UK to Address Housing Crisis
Can Europe Transition to a War Economy?
France Implements Stricter Airbnb Regulations
Upcoming Pandemic Inevitable, Warns Former UK Chief Scientific Advisor
British Tourists Assaulted by Bouncers in Pattaya, Thailand
Facebook Delays Removal of Fake Account Exploiting TikTok Star
Billionaire Non-Domicile Flees UK Amid Tax Law Changes
Theresa May Admits Mistakes Over Immigration Policies
Nicki Minaj's Manchester Concert Canceled After Amsterdam Arrest
UK Conservative Party Proposes Mandatory National Service at 18
Kate Middleton's Public Absence Throughout 2024
Asylum Seekers Arriving In UK by Sea Exceed 10,000 This Year
UK Criticizes ICJ Order on Israel's Rafah Assault
Ukraine's Fight Against Corruption Gains Ground Amid War
Czech President Petr Pavel Injured in Motorcycle Accident
Record Number of Abortions in England and Wales
Paul McCartney Honours Bruce Springsteen at Ivor Novello Awards
US and UK to Reject ICJ Ruling on Israel's Rafah Offensive
World Court Orders Immediate Halt to Israeli Offensive in Gaza
Understanding FLiRT COVID Variants and Their Impact
Baltic NATO Members to Construct 'Drone Wall'
Global Life Expectancy Dropped By 2 Years Due To COVID-19
Macron Halts New Caledonia Voting Reform After Riots
Rishi Sunak Shelves Rwanda and Smoking Policies Ahead of Election
US Refuses World Court Jurisdiction
China Conducts Surprise Military Drills Around Taiwan
Grim Polls Predict Major Loss for PM Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak's Campaign for UK Election: Key Issues Highlighted
German Property Crisis Worsens as Foreign Investment Declines
Princess of Wales's Taskforce Calls for Business Investment in Early Childhood
Campaign Groups Condemn UK Report on Protests
Former Royal Marine Charged with Espionage Found Dead
Australian PM Calls for Julian Assange's Freedom
ICC Seeks Arrest Warrants for Israeli and Hamas Leaders
UK's Infected Blood Scandal: Conclusion Nears After Seven Years
Julian Assange Granted Right to Challenge US Extradition
Congo Army Thwarts Attempted Coup Involving Americans and a British Citizen
Ireland's Homeless Gain Voting Rights
Blinken orders crackdown on Israel-Hamas leaks
Julian Assange Faces US Extradition: Key Facts
Jacob Zuma Takes Campaign to ANC Stronghold Soweto
Attempted Assassination of Slovakia PM Robert Fico: Investigation Ongoing
What Happens If an Iranian President Dies in Office?
Spain Recalls Ambassador After Argentina President's Remarks
Rishi Sunak Faces Cabinet Backlash Over Proposed Changes to Foreign Student Visas
Rwanda Denies Entry to Human Rights Researcher
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Reportedly Killed in Helicopter Crash
Blue Origin Resumes Space Tourism with 90-Year-Old Ed Dwight
Rishi Sunak and Wife Akshata Murty Wealthier Than King Charles