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Monday, November 29, 2021

Sir Geoffrey Cox: Conservative MP at centre of latest ‘sleaze’ row is ‘Brexit Mufasa’ who didn’t persuade with ‘Cox’s codpiece’ | Politics Information

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“Methinks I see in my thoughts a noble and puissant nation rousing herself like a powerful man after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks,” stated Sir Geoffrey Cox, as he grew to become 2018’s breakout political star.

“Methinks I see her as an eagle mewing her mighty youth, and kindling her undazzled eyes on the full noon beam.”

It isn’t fairly often {that a} 12-minute Conservative Occasion convention speech – particularly one quoting seventeenth century poet John Milton – can catapult a political profession.

However Sir Geoffrey’s 2018 deal with to Tory members in Birmingham – as a shock warm-up act to then prime minister Theresa Could – ensured his trademark booming voice grew to become a function of the political frontline in Westminster’s forthcoming Brexit battles.

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And so was born the “Brexit Mufasa” – or the “Tory Gandalf”, relying in your alternative of deep-toned movie character – who went on to grow to be a key member of Mrs Could’s cupboard.

Sir Geoffrey had been legal professional common for lower than three months earlier than his shock look on the Tory convention stage.

In line with stories on the time, Sir Geoffrey was appointed by Mrs Could because of the reality he was the one Brexiteer QC at hand.

And, as a backbench MP, he had additionally displayed loyalty to Mrs Could by defending her Brexit technique – referred to as the Chequers plan – at a troublesome 1922 Committee assembly of Tory MPs within the wake of Boris Johnson’s resignation as international secretary.

Previous to his appointment as the federal government’s high authorized adviser, Sir Geoffrey had been a high-earning barrister who, since his election to parliament in 2005, had been combining his paid authorized work along with his duties as MP for Torridge and West Devon.

After finding out at Cambridge College, Sir Geoffrey was known as to the Bar within the early Eighties and went on to grow to be head of Thomas Extra Chambers.

His time in authorities, for which he was plucked from relative obscurity at Westminster, coincided with the bitter Brexit battles between MPs within the Home of Commons.

Sir Geoffrey didn’t persuade MPs to assist Theresa Could’s Brexit divorce deal

Regardless of his loyalty to Mrs Could, it was Sir Geoffrey who dealt what was maybe the deadly blow to her Brexit divorce deal.

Following the primary Commons defeat for Mrs Could’s deal in January 2019, Sir Geoffrey was tasked with securing legally-binding modifications to the settlement in talks with EU officers.

This focussed on Mrs Could’s plan for a Northern Eire “backstop”, which aimed to keep away from border checks on the island of Eire however was unpopular with the DUP and Conservative Brexiteers.

Sir Geoffrey referred to the modifications he was in search of from the EU as “Cox’s codpiece”, telling MPs at one level: “What I’m involved to make sure is that what’s contained in the codpiece is in full working order.”

However, forward of a second Commons vote on Mrs Could’s deal, Sir Geoffrey acknowledged in his official recommendation that, even along with his modifications, the “authorized threat” remained “unchanged” of the UK having no technique of exiting the backstop in future if it wished to take action.

A view of Cane Garden Bay on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.
Sir Geoffrey was revealed to have voted by proxy within the Commons whereas working within the British Virgin Islands

Opponents of Mrs Could’s deal seized on Sir Geoffrey’s admission and her Brexit divorce settlement was subsequently defeated for a second time.

A 3rd Commons defeat on the Brexit withdrawal settlement finally led to Mrs Could’s resignation as prime minister, after which she was changed by Mr Johnson in 10 Downing Road.

Sir Geoffrey, usually likened to TV character Rumpole of the Bailey throughout his Commons appearances, had spoken on the official launch of Mr Johnson’s management marketing campaign.

He was initially stored on as legal professional common by the brand new prime minister however was later sacked in a February 2020 reshuffle.

In his resignation letter, Sir Geoffrey referred to the “candid and unbiased” authorized recommendation he had delivered in his function, amid stories that Mr Johnson had grown uninterested in Sir Geoffrey talking out independently in cupboard conferences.

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Video seems to indicate MP utilizing workplace for 2nd job

The previous cupboard minister used a few of his time through the first coronavirus lockdown to file a bedtime story for youngsters.

And, inside weeks of his sacking as legal professional common, Sir Geoffrey returned to profitable non-public authorized work.

In September 2020 he started representing world agency Withers, which has since paid him greater than £800,000.

Withers is presently representing the British Virgin Islands authorities throughout a corruption inquiry, which was launched by the International Workplace in January this 12 months.

It has now since been revealed that Sir Geoffrey was profiting from COVID preparations to vote by proxy in the Commons at the same time as working in the Caribbean archipelago.

The 61-year-old can also be going through claims that he used his parliamentary workplace to undertake a few of his work for Withers, which noticed him accused of “openly” breaking Commons guidelines.

Sir Geoffrey has spoken in only one Commons debate since leaving authorities in February 2020.

He has denied breaching Commons rules throughout his work for the British Virgin Islands authorities.

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