North Somerset MP Liam Fox has been unsuccessful in his bid to become Director-General of the World Trade Organisation. The leadership election has today (Wednesday 7th October 2020) narrowed down to two candidates Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria and Yoo Myung-hee of the Republic of Korea. Dr Liam Fox, representing the United Kingdom, was ditched on the last hurdle and therefore eliminated from the race
Liam Fox, who as Secretary of State for International Trade said a trade deal with the EU after Brexit would be "the easiest trade deal in history", oversaw the four-year gridlock in implementing a UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement and Trade Deal before being removed as a Cabinet Minister.
On Friday 18th September 2020 WTO members indicated that the five candidates who should advance are Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria, Yoo Myung-hee of the Republic of Korea, Amina C. Mohamed of Kenya, Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Liam Fox of the United Kingdom.
The leadership election, which has been going on since July, has caused some upset within the constituency that Dr Liam Fox has let his eyes off North Somerset whilst residents were dealing with the deadly Coronavirus pandemic. Staff at the North Somerset MPs Office were left unable to reply to constituent Sarah Kenhard’s emails, telling her "I am not sure when he will be back in the UK".
Hopes for Liam Fox’s director-general appointment quickly fizzled out after the Hungarian Government, with whom Liam Fox had extensive meetings behind closed doors, went back on their word offering their support for his candidacy. Financial Times Journalist, Alan Beattie commented “So have Hungary been trolling the EU or Fox? Hard to tell.”
It is unclear whether Dr Fox will continue to stay as a backbench MP serving his constituency or will leave for a job he finds more fulfilling, which would trigger a parliamentary by-election in the seat.
AND...sad day for Liam Fox as Hungary goes back on its word to support him in 2nd round of the WTO director-general race, joining the EU consensus in supporting Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Korea's Yoo Myung-hee.— Alan Beattie (@alanbeattie) October 5, 2020
So have Hungary been trolling the EU or Fox? Hard to tell.