Is Boris Johnson trying to provoke a culture war by appointing Tony Abbott? | The Independent

Is Boris Johnson trying to provoke a culture war by appointing Tony Abbott? | The Independent


T

he Board of Trade is one of the oldest relics of the British constitution, set up by James I in 1622 as a temporary committee of the privy council, to try to do something about the trade recession of the time. For a long time, it was a government department. Harold Wilson became a cabinet minister at the age of 30 as president of the board in 1947, before his opponent Edward Heath merged it with the Ministry of Technology to form the Department of Trade and Industry in 1970.

That department has changed its name several times since, with its secretary of state also holding the title of President of the Board of Trade – characteristically, Michael Heseltine and Peter Mandelson were the only ones who actually used it.

When Theresa May split the Department for International Trade from what was now called the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Board of Trade went with it, and the title of president passed to Liam Fox and then, when Boris Johnson became prime minister, to Liz Truss.



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