Liam Fox: Wikis


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Liam Fox MP

Assumed office 
6 December 2005
Leader David Cameron
Preceded by Michael Ancram

In office
4 May 2005 – 6 December 2005
Leader Michael Howard
Preceded by Michael Ancram
Succeeded by William Hague

In office
6 November 2003 – 4 May 2005
Leader Michael Howard
Preceded by Theresa May
Succeeded by Francis Maude

In office
15 June 1999 – 6 November 2003
Leader William Hague
Iain Duncan Smith
Preceded by Ann Widdecombe
Succeeded by Tim Yeo

Member of Parliament
for Woodspring
Assumed office 
9 April 1992
Preceded by Paul Dean
Majority 6,016 (11.7%)

Born 22 September 1961 (1961-09-22) (age 48)
East Kilbride, Scotland, UK
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Jesme Baird
Alma mater University of Glasgow

Liam Fox (born 22 September 1961) is a British Conservative politician, currently Shadow Defence Secretary and Member of Parliament for Woodspring.


Early life

Fox was born and raised in East Kilbride, Scotland and brought up in a council house that his parents later bought. The only one of his siblings to be educated in the state sector, he attended St. Bride's High School. He studied medicine at the University of Glasgow Medical School, graduating with MB ChB in 1983. Fox is a general practitioner (he was a GP in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire before his election to Parliament), a former Civilian Army Medical Officer and Divisional Surgeon with St John Ambulance. He is a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Whilst studying at the University of Glasgow, he was a member of the Dialectic Society and became president of the Glasgow University Conservative Association. From there he advanced through the Conservative ranks. Fox contested the Hairmyres Ward of East Kilbride District Council in May 1984, coming second – 210 votes – to the incumbent Labour Councillor, Ed McKenna.

Member of Parliament

His first attempt to get elected as an MP for a Scottish constituency ended in failure when he contested Roxburgh and Berwickshire in the 1987 General Election. Thereafter, he sought and won nomination for the English constituency of Woodspring and was successful in being elected MP for that constituency at the 1992 General Election.


In Government

A little over a year after his election in 1992, Fox was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Home Secretary, Michael Howard, in June 1993. Thereafter, in July 1994, he was appointed an Assistant Government Whip. Following a limited government reshuffle in November 1995, he was appointed a Lord Commissioner of Her Majesty's Treasury – a Senior Government Whip. He was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1996 to 1997.

In 1996, he brokered an accord in Sri Lanka, called the Fox Peace Plan, between Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge’s PA and the opposition UNP of Ranil Wickremesinghe, on a bipartisan approach for ending the ethnic war. However, little has happened since then to suggest that the various parties have acted in good faith in the interests of peace.[1].

In Opposition

Shadow Cabinet

In June 1997, Fox was appointed Opposition Front Bench Spokesman on Constitutional Affairs. Between 1999 and 2003 he was the Shadow Secretary of State for Health.

In November 2003, Fox was appointed campaign manager for Michael Howard following the no-confidence vote against the Conservative leader, Iain Duncan Smith. Fox was made co-chairman of the party by Michael Howard when he became party leader in November 2003. After the 2005 general election he was promoted within the Shadow Cabinet to become Shadow Foreign Secretary. On 7 December 2005 he was moved to Defence by new Leader of the Opposition David Cameron MP.

Leadership bid

In September 2005, Fox announced he would join the contest to be the next leader of the Conservative party.

His campaign theme for the 2005 leadership race was based on the "broken society" theme, which he says Conservatives can address by returning emphasis to marriage and reforming welfare.

In the initial ballot of Conservative MPs, on 18 October, he gained enough support (42 votes) to avoid coming last, and put himself through to the second ballot to be held two days later.[2]

He was eliminated with 51 votes in third place behind David Cameron (90 votes) and David Davis (57 votes). Cameron, who eventually won the leadership election, gave Fox the role of Shadow Defence Secretary.



He voted for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. As Shadow Defence Secretary he has supported the Government’s position of maintaining British troops in Iraq until the security situation on the ground allows for a withdrawal of troops but has been critical of the lack of post-invasion planning and poor equipment initially provided to British troops. He supported the idea of the American Surge and believes that it has been successful.

Since becoming Shadow Defence Secretary he has visited Iraq on two occasions.


He has been an outspoken supporter of the war in Afghanistan and the British presence there. He has been critical towards some of the European NATO partners whom he believes are not contributing enough to the effort in the more dangerous southern and eastern parts of Afghanistan. He believes that the current British led Opium eradication programme is failing.

Since becoming Shadow Defence Secretary he has visited Afghanistan on two occasions


He has spoken on a number of occasions regarding Iran’s nuclear ambitions and believes that all options, including the use of military force, have to be on the table. He is opposed to an Iran with a nuclear weapons capability.

In July 2007 he travelled to Iran.


He has very strong Atlanticist views. He believes that NATO is the cornerstone of the United Kingdom and Europe’s defence and that NATO must have primacy over the European Union including the right of first refusal for all matters relating to the defence of continental Europe.

He has been critical of the common funding mechanism within NATO and has called for a system to be used that allows for more proportionate burden sharing between NATO member states for NATO led military operations.

The European Union

He is considered to be staunchly Eurosceptic and opposed to European defence integration as well as European political integration. He is opposed to the European Commission having any role in defence policy. He believes that the European Security and Defence Policy duplicates and takes away scarce national resources from NATO.

He specifically opposes the defence provisions in the Lisbon Treaty.

Capital punishment

He does not support capital punishment.


Although no longer religious, he is critical of abortion and supports the traditional family – for sociological, not moral reasons.

Military welfare

He has claimed on a number of occasions that the Military Covenant is broken and that the British Armed Forces are being asked to do too much for what they are resourced to do.

Along with the leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron, he established the Military Covenant Commission headed by Frederick Forsyth with the aim of finding ways to improve the welfare of service members, veterans, and their families under a future Conservative Government.


He is a strong supporter of Israel and is a member of Conservative Friends of Israel.

Liam Fox MP with Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and The Rt Hon. The Baroness Thatcher.

The United States of America

He is a strong believer in the Special Relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States. He is the UK Director and founding member of The Atlantic Bridge. A UK based charity that aims to preserve and promote the Special Relationship exemplified by the Reagan-Thatcher partnership of the 1980s.[3]

Fox was able to retain a good relationship with the administration of George W. Bush, despite a five year break down in relations between the Conservative and Republican parties over the Iraq War. He led the Conservative delegation to the 2008 Republican National Convention.[4]

Personal life

On 10 June 2005, he announced his engagement to long-term girlfriend Jesme Baird, 37, a fellow doctor who works at the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and is also an alumna of the University of Glasgow. They married at St Margaret's Church opposite Parliament on 17 December 2005[5].

Fox is a lecturer for the medical educational firm Arrest Ltd, for which he earns £25,000 for 14 days' work and he has an estimated wealth of £1m.[6]

See also


External links

Offices held

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Paul Dean
Member of Parliament for Woodspring
Political offices
Preceded by
Ann Widdecombe
Shadow Secretary of State for Health
1999 – 2003
Succeeded by
Tim Yeo
Preceded by
Michael Ancram
Shadow Foreign Secretary
Succeeded by
William Hague
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
2005 – present
Party political offices
Preceded by
Theresa May
Chairman of the Conservative Party
2003 – 2005
with The Lord Saatchi
Succeeded by
Francis Maude

Simple English

File:Liam Fox MP,
Liam Fox is the British Defence Secretary

Liam Fox (born September 22, 1961 in East Kilbride, Scotland) is a British politician who is the Defence Secretary in the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Woodspring constituency in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, and since 2010 has represented North Somerset.

Liam Fox studied at the University of Glasgow and became a Conservative Party MP at the 1992 General Election. He served in the shadow cabinet from 1999 to 2010 and became Shadow Defence Secretary in December 2005. In 2005, he tried to become leader of the Conservative Party but lost to David Cameron.


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