Brittan takes trade role

LORD Brittan, who made his name as trade and industry secretary in Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet, is to return to government as a trade adviser.

David Cameron said that 71-year-old Brittan, who is taking a six-month sabbatical from his job as UBS vice chairman, would help “drive forward Britain’s ambitious trade agenda”.

However, the Prime Minister has come under criticism for failing to appoint a fully-fledged trade minister, especially given his oft-repeated aim of boosting British exports.

Mervyn Davies, the former chairman of Standard Chartered, was recruited as a high-profile trade minister by Gordon Brown but stood down when Labour lost the election.

Earlier this week, The British Chambers of Commerce said the coalition’s failure to replace Davies marked one of the biggest errors in its first 100 days in power.