Liam Fox, your pants are on fire

Shadow defence secretary caught dissembling about Andy Coulson on Question Time.

I think you'll find that Andy Coulson was neither present at nor involved in that particular tribunal.

* The disingenuous response offered by stuttering, red-faced Liam Fox MP, Conservative shadow defence secretary, after being asked about the Tory spin doctor Andy Coulson's involvement in bullying on BBC1's Question Time, 25 February 2010

The original source of the hostility towards the claimant [Matt Driscoll] was Mr Coulson, the editor; although other senior managers either took their lead from Mr Coulson and continued with his motivation after Mr Coulson's departure; or shared his views themselves.

* The verdict of an east London employment tribunal in the case of bullying brought against the News of the World, 23 November 2009

Mehdi Hasan is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and the co-author of Ed: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader. He was the New Statesman's senior editor (politics) from 2009-12.

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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.