Quote of the day: BT CEO on the Public Accounts Committee

“They are clearly designed to attract publicity rather than get to the underlying truth."

“They are clearly designed to attract publicity rather than get to the underlying truth."
BT chief executive Ian Livingston gives his view on the Public Accounts Committee.
The committee and Livingston’s employers have history - PAC chair Margaret Hodge previously accused the BT of "blackmailing the public" by demanding subsidies expand its broadband to rural areas.

BT chief executive Ian Livingston. Photograph: Getty Images
Photo: Getty
Show Hide image

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.