David Mundell 'delighted' to be Boris Johnson's trade envoy to New Zealand
David Mundell, the former secretary of state for Scotland is to be the UK’s trade envoy for New Zealand.
The Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP was one of ten new appointments made by the Prime Minister in a bid to “boost British business in dynamic markets” and “break down barriers to trade”.
Ex-England cricketer Ian Botham, who sits in the House of Lords as a crossbencher, will take on the role of trade envoy to Australia, while, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, who briefly served as the DUP’s leader, will take on Cameroon.
Former Labour MP, and keen Brexiter Kate Hoey has been appointed. Lord Walney has been assigned to Tanzania, while Felicity Buchan MP has been appointed to Iceland and Norway.
The envoys - who are are unpaid - are expected to engage with markets where substantial trade and investment opportunities have been identified by ministers. The government claim they supported “more than £16bn of UK exports” last year.
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-19, ensuring every part of the UK benefits from our trade strategy.”
The new appointments bring the government the total number of trade envoys to 36, covering 76 different countries.
Taking to Twitter, Mundell said: “Delighted to have been appointed UK trade envoy to New Zealand. So many strong links already between the UK, Scotland and my own constituency with New Zealand. Looking forward to building on them and fostering new export and investment opportunities.”
Mundell served as Secretary of State for Scotland for four years but was sacked by Boris Johnson in 2019.
Dumfries and Galloway MP Alister Jack was later appointed to take over the role.
At the time, Mundell told BBC Scotland News: "Mr Johnson made it clear he wanted a cabinet in his own mould - I'm clearly not in that mould.
"I've never been a cheerleader for him, which is well documented.
"I was prepared to work with him because my overriding priority is keeping Scotland in the United Kingdom and making sure that we deliver a Brexit that's best for Scotland."