Ex-UKIP MP Douglas Carswell becomes government trade advisor during Brexit

Clacton MP Douglas Carswell. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Douglas Carswell is now a non-executive director at the Department for International Trade - Credit: Archant

Former Clacton MP Douglas Carswell has returned to the Brexit arena - after being appointed as a government trade advisor.

The former Essex MP defected from the Conservatives to the UK Independence Party (UKIP) in 2014, saying he wanted to see a "fundamental change in British politics".

He went on to be a founding director for the Vote Leave campaign, which helped to win the Brexit referendum - but stood down as Clacton MP at the 2017 general election.

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage and Douglas Carswell pictured in 2014.

Douglas Carswell, pictured here with Nigel Farage, defected to UKIP in 2014 - Credit: PA

Conservative cabinet minister Elizabeth Truss has now appointed Mr Carswell as one of four new non-executive directors to the Department for International Trade (DIT) to "bring vast experience and expertise to the department at a critical time for the UK as a trading nation".

Mr Carswell will serve for three years in the role to "provide independent advice, support and scrutiny on the department’s work, to support the Government’s ambitious trade policy agenda", the department said.

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It added that Mr Carswell and the other appointments "will help the department execute its key priorities including striking free trade agreements in markets around the world, operating our own trading system after the transition period, boosting exports and investment across the UK, and championing free trade and shaping global trading rules".

Ms Truss said of the appointments: "They will help execute our strategic priorities, in particular driving forward our trade deal negotiations programme, our export and investment campaigns, and our work on reforming and reshaping global trade rules.

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"All of them are high quality appointments who believe fiercely in rules-based free trade.

"They will play a big role in re-establishing the UK as a major force in global trade, and will help take our trade agenda to the next level in 2021 and beyond."

The department added: "The non-executive board members were appointed following an open and fair selection process."

Also appointed were Andrew Hood, founding partner at Oxford Research and Analysis, Somerset Capital Management chief executive Dominic Johnson and economist and author Dr Dambisa Moyo.

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