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Backlash when Australia's ex-prime minister Tony Abbott was appointed to deal with Brexit


The decision to appoint a gawking former Australian prime minister as British post-Brexit trade ambassador has been blown by critics.

Tony Abbott is scheduled to join the Board of Trade in an advisory capacity helping to do business around the world.

However, the appointment of the right-wing Brexiteer (62) was condemned by Labor international trade spokeswoman Emily Thornberry, who described him as an "offensive, aggressive, grinning, gawking misogynist".

Tony Abbott, 62, (above) is expected to join the Board of Trade in an advisory capacity helping to do business around the world

Trade Secretary Liz Truss will become President of the Board of Directors, and Mr Abbott, who was ousted from power by his own party in 2015 after just two years in office, will of course be appointed to an advisory capacity.

The Oxford graduate will play a role in negotiating new trade deals after the UK left the EU at the end of the year.

The appointment has yet to be officially confirmed, but a government source told the Sun, "We are delighted to have him."

There were reports that Miss Truss and Mr. Abbott set the breakfast appointment on Wednesday after he was given permission to break the Australian travel ban on flights to the UK. He is expected to return to London next week, where he was born.

Current Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said last night the appointment was a "good attitude" by Boris Johnson as he sought trade deals with Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the US.

A staunch monarchist and friend of the Prime Minister, Mr Abbott, speaking at last year's Tory Party conference, warned that failure to leave the EU would "be an epic defeat that has been hard to match since the Norman invasion ".

He has also spoken out against the Black Lives Matter movement and was memorably branded as a misogynist in a speech given by former Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

There have been reports of Commerce Secretary Liz Truss (above) who will be President of the Board of Directors and Abbott agreed to the appointment on Wednesday after being given permission to break Australia's travel ban on flights to the UK

There have been reports of Commerce Secretary Liz Truss (above) who will be President of the Board of Directors and Abbott agreed to the appointment on Wednesday after being given permission to break Australia's travel ban on flights to the UK

Referring to Abbott's report on the environment, women and immigration in power, Miss Thornberry said, “On a personal level, it is shameful that Boris Johnson thinks this abusive, aggressive, grinning, gawking misogynist is the right person to represent ours Overseas country.

“And on a professional level, this is someone with no hands-on trade negotiating experience, who denies climate change, which we believe should be at the center of our trade policy, and who clearly has no idea of ​​the importance of UK trade with EU. & # 39;

Mr Abbott has been ousted as Prime Minister by other Liberal MPs after a series of gaffes and amid falling public opinion polls.

It is unclear whether his new position will be paid or unpaid.

ANDREW PIERCE: Stray … a firefighter who's used to hot water!

Tony Abbott's apology to a British friend who has just arrived in Sydney is hard to beat.

"Sorry to do this on short notice buddy, but I'm trying to put out those damn bushfires."

He wasn't joking. The former Australian guide and volunteer firefighter had flown hundreds of kilometers to New South Wales after months of violent fires last summer at record breaking temperatures and severe drought.

It was Abbott's daring style.

For years, Australian politicians have scrupulously avoided being photographed on the beach in anything other than the baggiest boardshorts. Not Abbott.

Australian politicians have avoided being photographed on the beach in anything other than baggy board shorts - but not Tony Abbott. He is pictured at the 2012 Great Aussie Swim

Australian politicians have avoided being photographed on the beach in anything other than baggy board shorts – but not Tony Abbott. He is pictured at the 2012 Great Aussie Swim

In 2009, the then-leader of the opposition center-right Liberal Party appeared in a pair of budgie smugglers – tight speedos – who slashed through the surf.

The pictures went viral, but Abbott, who was fifty at the time, escaped ridicule when it was found he was training with his local life-saving club. Such a vision didn't put voters off and Abbott served as Prime Minister between 2013 and 2015.

His headline-grabbing talent – and the occasional gaffe – is legendary; from eating a raw onion whole, the skin, and anything to show appreciation for the farm laborers, to warning the "housewives of Australia" that it would cost more under the rival Labor Party, ironing or firing the "so-called." sedentary science "perform. on climate change as "absolutely c ** p".

He has campaigned for boats carrying migrants to be sent back at sea, for asylum applications to be processed off the coast, and for border controls run by the military to be set up.

Misogyny is high on the list of his alleged crimes and misdemeanors: in 2012, then Prime Minister Julia Gillard accused him of sexism after commenting on her being childless and unmarried.

A year later, and by then Prime Minister himself, he appointed himself Minister for Women's Affairs, which his feminist critics considered a bold answer.

Abbott, a staunch Catholic who was trained for the priesthood as a young man, led the campaign against gay marriage in Australia and has consistently voted against the relaxation of abortion and stem cell research laws, earning himself the nickname “Mad Monk” ;.

Abbott, who was born in London and immigrated to Sydney with his parents at the age of two, has always had close ties with the UK. After graduating from Sydney University with a degree in economics, he attended Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.

Mr Abbott with his wife Margie Abbott (2nd from left) and their daughters Frances (left) Louise Abbott (2nd from left) and Bridget (far right) after the 2013 election victory

Mr Abbott with his wife Margie Abbott (2nd from left) and their daughters Frances (left) Louise Abbott (2nd from left) and Bridget (far right) after the 2013 election victory

He trained as a journalist before his political ambitions took root and worked for Australians for a constitutional monarchy until he became a MP in 1994, a seat he held until last year.

In 2015 Abbott was ousted as Prime Minister, and a recent book about his tenure revealed that party members confronted him and his chief of staff, Peta Credlin, over a "perception" that they were having an affair (both of whom denied).

It remains to be seen what Brussels will think of the Brexit lawyer in his new form as advisor after departure. But he is not an unknown quantity, having negotiated with the EU as Australian Prime Minister.

His appointment predictably angered Labor with Emily Thornberry, Shadow's international trade secretary, stating that his "only trade deal experience was signing the contracts negotiated for him (former Australian Trade Secretary) Andrew Robb".

But a friend of Abbott said last night, “He doesn't care about the insults. He is tough, smart and has done business with the EU. We're lucky to have it. & # 39;

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