UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed ten new trade envoys with the intention of boosting British business in new global markets such as Australia, Brazil and Canada.
They have taken on greater significance since the UK left the European Union, and the new appointees include former pro-Brexit Labour MP Kate Hoey and former English cricketer Ian Botham.
DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson was also appointed as UK trade envoy to Cameroon.
These three appointments left many questioning the decision and what skills they can bring to the role.
In announcing the new appointees, international trade secretary Liz Truss said: “Our Trade Envoys play a key role in delivering our ambitious global trade agenda, and I am delighted the Prime Minister has appointed ten Trade Envoys who will boost opportunities for British businesses in some of the world’s fastest growing markets.
“By boosting exports, promoting inward investment and creating high-value, high-paying jobs, our Trade Envoys will help us build back better from Covid, ensuring every part of the UK benefits from our trade strategy.”
Here is the full list of new appointments:
- Lord Ian Botham appointed to Australia
- Baroness Kate Hoey appointed to Ghana
- Stephen Timms MP appointed to Switzerland and Liechtenstein
- David Mundell MP appointed to New Zealand
- Mark Eastwood MP appointed to Pakistan
- Marco Longhi MP appointed to Brazil
- Conor Burns MP appointed to Canada
- Lord Walney (John Woodcock) appointed to Tanzania
- Felicity Buchan MP appointed to Iceland and Norway
- Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP appointed to Cameroon, in addition to his role as Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Egypt.
As you can imagine the announcement of the roles was not met with universal agreement…
Government by satire: Jeffrey Donaldson has been appointed by Johnson as trade envoy to Cameroon & Kate Hoey to Ghana. pic.twitter.com/dY3v5doOIb— John Finn / Seán Óg Fionn (@SeanFionn) August 23, 2021
Everyone predictably up in arms but there’s absolutely no reason to think Ian Botham can’t be just as successful a trade envoy as Prince Andrew.— Tom Peck (@tompeck) August 23, 2021
Government appointments to be announced this week:— Larry the Cat (@Number10cat) August 23, 2021
Monday – Ian Botham, Trade Envoy
Tuesday – Judy Finnigan, Head of Ofgem
Wednesday – Bananarama, Attorneys General
Thursday – Timmy Mallet, Black Rod
Friday – Wolf from Gladiators, UN Ambassador
Botham’s qualifications to become a no.10 business Tsar to Australia?— Marina Purkiss (@MarinaPurkiss) August 23, 2021
He played Cricket
He was made a Lord
He spends lots of time in Oz
He launched a wine and gin collection
Two things here:— Martin (@Rawricus) August 23, 2021
1) Yes, I believe Ian Botham has a better grasp of international trade than you and;
2) I don’t believe Ian Botham has any grasp of international trade.
By making politics all about personality, you can put incompetent people who right-wingers love in charge of major national functions, and instead of being criticised when things go wrong, you can paint it all as a personal attack on our country.— Femi (@Femi_Sorry) August 23, 2021
“Sir Ian Botham” pic.twitter.com/tfNQulxlvE
Botham Nov 2020: I “will be at Westminster more often when we get back to normal, especially when they are debating something I know about – like sport or the countryside. Not much point if it’s a trade deal with Japan”— Gemma Abbott (@gem_abbott) August 23, 2021
Botham Aug 2021: trade envoy! https://t.co/njeBQiCij9
If you didn’t already think Global Britain has become a laughing-stock on the world stage, the appointment of Ian Botham as the UK’s trade envoy to Australia really should start ringing some alarm bells.— Siobhan Benita (@SiobhanBenita) August 23, 2021
Wakes up to find that Ian Botham has been made trade envoy to Australia and prisoners may be brought in to help cope with post-Brexit labour shortages.— Matt Carr (@MattCarr55) August 23, 2021
Wonders if he has entered some twilight zone of absolute shameful idiocy. Pinches himself to see if he is dreaming.
Staff at the Ghana High Commission in London react to the appointment of their new UK trade envoy, Kate Hoey. pic.twitter.com/SlW3pOm9cL— Chris ? (@imageplotter) August 23, 2021
Imagine a world in which Kate Hoey was appointed a UK trade envoy.?— Edwin Hayward ? ? (@uk_domain_names) August 23, 2021
Now you don’t have to imagine it any more, because it’s happened! She’s rubbing shoulders with a number of other remarkably inappropriate names.
Our status as international laughing stock is rising and rising. pic.twitter.com/MALIuKcLG3
Kate Hoey who until recently insisted no one believed they were voting for the Norway model was tweeting about the advantages of the Norway model days before the EU ref.— Marie-Ann *Followed by 99k Anti-Tories* (@MarieAnnUK) August 23, 2021
Plot twist: Now she is blocking anyone who reminds her that she ever supported the Brexit catastrophe. pic.twitter.com/WcEMbevFYH
Imagine being Ghana and out of nowhere a Kate Hoey appears in Accra to sell you tea towels and five lighters for a pound— Good Friday Agreement (@BelfastAgmt) August 23, 2021
Oh my God. Fox hunting supporter Kate Hoey and Ian ‘ Let’s go to war with the RSPB’ Botham are now trade ministers . This govt really doesn’t like wildlife after all… https://t.co/3moJUZfIBT— Charlie Moores (@charliemoores) August 23, 2021
Send Jeffrey Donaldson to Egypt, their civilization has been around almost as long as he thinks the planet has existed.— Peter Henderson (@pedrohendo) August 23, 2021