North Somerset’s MP out of running to become next director-general of WTO

PUBLISHED: 06:59 13 October 2020

Dr Liam Fox MP

Dr Liam Fox MP


North Somerset’s MP, Dr Liam Fox, is out of the running for becoming the next director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Dr Fox was knocked out of the contest on Thursday.

The former international trade secretary was nominated by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in July.

Dr Fox said: “I am proud to have been nominated by Boris Johnson as the nominee for the position of director-general of the World Trade Organisation.

“I am of course naturally disappointed not be continuing further in this contest.

“It has been an honour to take part in this selection process over the past few months, to make arguments on the international stage that are critical to the future of the global trading system, such as renewed commitment to the multilateral rules-based system and about economic empowerment and sustainable development.”

Dr Fox was the UK’s international trade secretary under then-prime minister, Theresa May, but was sacked when Mr Johnson entered Downing Street.

Dr Fox would have become the first-ever British boss of the WTO if successful.

The UK has been a member of the body since it was founded, but has only sat as an independent member since leaving the European Union in January.

The winner is due to be announced next month, with Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee vying for the role.

It means the body, where 164 member countries aim to set global trading rules, will have its first female leader since its formation in 1995.

Dr Fox added: “I want to wish the remaining candidates all the very best for their campaigns and to sincerely thank everyone who has worked on my campaign. I am very grateful for all the support I received from all parts of the globe.

“As I’ve always said, I believe that fundamentally free trade is a right. I will continue to champion the WTO and the next director-general.

“I will now be returning to Westminster where I look forward with relish to taking up the arguments that matter to my constituents in North Somerset and the rest of the United Kingdom.”

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