Coffee House

Exclusive – Liam Fox turns down job as Foreign Office minister

15 July 2014

1:17 PM

15 July 2014

1:17 PM

I can confirm that Liam Fox was offered Minister of State at the Foreign Office with responsibility for India, China and Latin America. He politely declined the Prime Minister’s idea, even when it was later sweetened with the offer of a place in the National Security Council. Fox, a former party chairman and defence secretary, had been tipped for a comeback and foreign policy is one his great loves (he recently wrote a book, Rising Tides, about the various risks the world faces). So why turn it down? My guess is that he saw Cameron’s offer as a means of plonking him on a slow boat to China in the last 12 months before an election. Fox has plenty to say – on the need for a more ambitious economic policy, the Russian threat and the need for European reform. He’s served more time on the frontbenches than almost anyone who has worked for Cameron, and is able to make these points without the platform of a job title. Also, how many meetings of the Security Council would he have attended if he was deployed down the Yangtze?

UPDATE Fox has now confirmed this, with a statement below:-

“I was honoured to be offered a post as Minister of State in the Foreign Office by the Prime Minister. I have turned it down. The issues that matter most to me and my constituents in North Somerset are the economy, immigration and Europe. I do not want to be distracted from what needs to be said on these matters at such an important time politically and I look forward to discussing them from the backbenches in the lead up to the General Election.”

P.S. I’m struck by how few of my colleagues are familiar with ‘Slow Boat to China’, so I’ve embedded it above for the uninitiated.


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Show comments
  • bugshead

    Very wise Mr Fox

  • http://batman-news.com The Commentator

    So, Lord Hill becomes Britain’s new EU commissioner. A nonentity, a cardboard cut-out also known as Albert RN. Now we know for sure; there is no planned re-negotiation with Brussels. Pretty much what we expected!

  • edward

    The tories have been doing better in the polls of late but this reshuffle has laid to rest any hope of winning the next election. Dave has no conviction’s at all and governs purely by focus group and the electorate will see through this.

  • Geronimo von Huxley

    Oh man!!! If you just joined the party like me man you would think a granade just exploded man!!! Insane!!!!

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    Today feels like losing an election. That’s how bad it is for the bigoted far right.

    • Inverted Meniscus

      Is that the view of all of your gibberish spouting EU sponsored socialist nutter sock puppets lad. Does the Goat agree?

      • BarkingAtTreehuggers

        Take your cringeworthily repetitive and slow junk to China, laddie.
        Perhaps someone will give a dime for your tuppence worth.

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Many of us would like to see your gibberish spouting sock puppets FO to China lad.

    • Colonel Mustard

      No need for you to keep posting incomprehensible rubbish then. Job done!

      Bye!

  • HookesLaw

    Fox has an inflated opinion of himself. Remind us who made a complete mess of his opportunity as a Cabinet Minister by trying to run a clever little game of selfish self promotion? Getting on with the job in hand was not good enough.
    Like Davis just another who puts self interest before party and country. Why are right wingers so stupid? Its a shame.

    • Adam Carter

      Unbelievable!
      Even for you who enjoys making provocative comments here.
      David Davis gave up his own chance of a major cabinet post to stand in a by-election on the issue of 42 day detention without charge. He, more than any other individual, stood against the slide to authoritarianism when the Cameroons were effectively silent.
      And you say that Davis ‘puts self-interest before party and country’ (and I note which order you put those categories in). Unbelievable!

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Well said.

  • grasmithy

    werrity werrity He said unto him

  • starfish

    Looks like Dr Fox is positioning for a post Cameron post 2015 Tory party
    Anyone heard anything about David Davies?
    Are they in contact?
    I wonder…

  • Denis_Cooper

    As we now have a new Foreign Secretary who is more fiercely “eurosceptic” than his predecessor Hague ever pretended to be, at least according to the yarn being spun by the pro-Tory pro-EU anti-UKIP press, there is obviously no need for Liam Fox to get involved in anything to do with the EU.

    • Makroon

      Actually, it looks like a deliberate ploy by Cameron – offer Fox a job as assistant to the competent bloke who sorted out his mess at Defence, and made the hard decisions that Fox wouldn’t make.
      I wonder if Cameron told Fox – “Watch how your boss Hammond runs a big department, you might learn something”.

    • Lady Magdalene

      Don’t be fooled by Hammond. Check out The Bruges Group website: voted in favour of the EU 62% of the time (Hague was 4%)

      http://www.brugesgroup.com/mpwatch/index.live

      On the basis of once saying that he’d vote to leave if a renegotiation was unsuccessful, Hammond is being presented as a serious EU sceptic. He’s no such thing,

  • Baron

    Good on you, Mr. Fox, the spineless boy’s finished, kaput, deader than the parrot.

    • telemachus

      So what of Liam Fox? Is he corrupt or simply a prat? His relationship with Mr Werritty seems puzzling to say the least, but not surprising when those in power like to give their “jobs for the boys”. It has always been who you know not what you know when you get into government.

      The jury is out at the moment but it doesn’t look good. This article shows the web within which Dr Fox is entangled Sunday Telegraph . What looks particularly bad is that when he has been asked very simple questions by the media he has refused to answer a single one. He is well aware that any discrepancy in what he says will be pounced upon. But what does he have to hide?

      There are questions over soliciting meetings for business dealings; Adam Werritty taking advantage of their friendship by handing out business card stating he was an advisor of Dr Fox; and most seriously being involved in various situations where national security could have been breached.

      It is all very bizarre, but the vultures are circling. Silence is never a good thing when all around you are commenting on your alleged misdemeanors. The correct response would be to put all the facts on the table, if there is nothing in the story, and there is nothing to hide, then come COMPLETELY CLEAN straight away. To say next to nothing and appoint an enquiry into your own conduct is not very clever.

      • Kitty MLB

        Oh dear wasp has the fox outwitted you at some point,
        and I’d trust him above any in Labour’s nest of vipers.

        • telemachus

          I was just thinking this morning that if this tired vapid lot of lawyers and television presenters is all the Tories have, then Joe Punter will be glad when the charismatic quartet of Yvette, Ed, Andy and Tristram take the reins

          • Colonel Mustard

            Hee-hee. ‘Tired vapid lot’ and Yvette/Ed/Andy/Tristram. Even the last one looks as though he is cooking a turd after several days of chronic constipation.

        • eclair

          I thought he’d been watching ‘Have I Got News for You’ too often.

      • Inverted Meniscus

        Tagged tripe.

      • MirthaTidville

        Bit longer than normal, who wrote it for you?

      • Barakzai

        ‘ .. . then come COMPLETELY CLEAN straight away.’

        Just like Mr and Mrs Harperson, you mean?

    • Makroon

      Thank God for that. The thought of that bag of wind and his travelling companion, having anything to do with ‘India, China and Latin America’ makes the flesh creep. Doesn’t Cameron understand, regarding foreigners, Fox’s only desire is to bomb them.

    • http://google.co.eu Sentinel

      Google translation:

      “I was insulted to be offered a post as Minister of State in the Foreign Office by the Prime Minister. I have turned it down; I used to be a Cabinet Minister and I stood for the leadership FFS!”

  • Colonel Mustard

    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Long runs the fox, a bit cleverer than Mr Slippery.

    • telemachus

      Those who run with the hare and the hounds should indeed remember long runs the fox

      • Inverted Meniscus

        Or the dishonest Labour scumbag.

    • Kitty MLB

      I once accidently came across Mr Fox and found him quite
      charming. Maybe he’s savvy enough to play the long game.
      But Mr Fox will not be Brutus.

      • Colonel Mustard

        He won’t need to be. Cameron is already a dead man walking.

  • telemachus

    If any Tory had something of the night about them it is Fox not Howard
    *
    Not evil like Gove but getting there

    • John Dalton

      Unlike that bullying d*ck head Ed Balls and his vile ranting goggle-eyed wife of course…

      • Alexsandr

        poetic :)

        • John Dalton

          I try! ; )

          • Wessex Man

            you do very well!

          • Kitty MLB

            I’d keep on trying if I were you, not the words
            to make the heart sing.

            • telemachus

              He drew all of our attention to the most charismatic pair in politics

              • Inverted Meniscus

                No a pair of incompetent, arrogant, disgusting scumbags.

              • eclair

                You mean Kingstonian and Alexandr of course?

              • Makroon

                I don’t think Balls even has a pair – he is another Brownite McCavity when the going gets tricky.

            • John Dalton

              You seem to be in a minority there.

              • Kitty MLB

                And you trust their poetic judgement ?

              • the viceroy’s gin

                …a socialist minority.

      • Kingstonian

        Priceless!

      • Colonel Mustard

        Very good!

  • itdoesntaddup

    What did Cameron expect after failing to do anything about Fox hunting?

    • Wessex Man

      hur hur hur ……. sigh.

  • Bill Brinsmead

    Liam Fox: chooses his own agenda and is consistently disloyal. Not a team player. Can and must do better.

    • Baron

      And the reason Fox should back a team that has shown again and again it cannot win with the current captain is what?

      • John Dalton

        Well done Liam Fox – one of the few still left in the Tory mix with true conservative principles. Cameron’s craven PC-motivated deckchair shuffling is as wrong as it is badly motivated and the electorate won’t be fooled by it. In my view Cameron is c*cking things up royally.

      • HookesLaw

        ICM poll Tory lead. UKIP down 7. Newark by election comfortable tory win.

        • telemachus

          Nigel Farage’s party drops back into single figures to stand on 9%, down seven points from last month’s score of 16% and the opposition also edges up one to 33%.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Goodness, you best rush down to the betting houses and get your money down, lad.

          Since it’s a sure thing, you know.

    • foto2021

      Could and should resign.

      • telemachus

        Did

        • foto2021

          His conduct was appalling. He should have resigned his seat.

          • telemachus

            Quite

    • telemachus

      Remember he is a medical man and has signed the hypocrisy oath

    • Benedict

      David Cameron: chooses his own agenda and is consistently disloyal to Tories. Not a team player. Had a wonderful opportunity and wasted it.

    • George Scoresby

      Who cares whether he is “loyal.” Loyal to what, exactly?

  • you_kid

    The good news day keeps on giving …

  • fathomwest

    Well done Doctor Fox. I think Cameron wanted to silence Foxy, especially on matters EU. Hague said today that the Conservatives were more united over the EU than at any time in his career in the House of Commons. Just who is he trying to kid?

    • George_Arseborne

      From his name you know he is smart. Sitting on the front bench as a shadow minister is not worth it post May 2015. Good one boy

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