Theresa May 'distinctly unimpressed' by Cabinet turf war between Fox and Johnson

Posted On: 
15th August 2016

Theresa May is reportedly "distinctly unimpressed" by attempts by Liam Fox to secure a transfer of powers and personnel from the Foreign Office to his newly formed Department of International Trade.

Liam Fox and Boris Johnson during the EU referendum campaign
Credit: 
PA

In a leaked letter to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Dr Fox called for a "rational restructuring" which would see the FCO's economic diplomacy team move over to the Trade department.

The Times quoted government sources calling the letter an "institutional insult and assault" on Mr Johnson's team. 

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Downing St sources told the same paper that the Prime Minister believes "there is a big job to do and people need to get on with it", rather than engaging in a turf war.

It is understood that Mr Johnson roundly rejected his colleague's suggestions, only offering to send a few staff to the new department on a temporary basis.

There have also been suggestions of a delay to the Brexit process, with the Sunday Times reporting yesterday that neither Dr Fox's department nor the new Brexit department headed by David Davis will be ready in time to trigger Article 50 in January 2017.