Without plunging in the dagger to its hilt, Vince Cable made clear this morning that Prince Andrew should be carefully reflecting on whether to carry on as a UK trade envoy.

“He is a volunteer, he has offered to perform these roles. I think it’s down to him, essentially, to judge the position he wants to be in.”

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From Downing Street just now:


Lord Brittan has been appointed as a trade adviser to the Prime Minister
helping to lead a cross-Government effort to develop and drive forward
an ambitious trade agenda. Read more

The coalition has been scouring high and low through Britain’s boardrooms to find a trade minister working at the top level of UK plc. Their entreaties have been turned down by the likes of Sir John Rose, ceo of Rolls-Royce, Sir Stuart Rose, chairman of M&S, and Mervyn Davies, former chair of Standard Chartered.

Now – according to FT columnist Mark Kleinman* – they have found someone: Leon Brittan.  (Press release from 10 Downing Street later today).

At least to be their trade adviser. They are still looking for someone to fill the minister slot.

It’s not the Sheffield United footballer. It’s the other one, Lord Brittan, who was European Commissioner for Competition in the 1990s. He will turn 71 next month. Read more