Liz Truss: Potential new chief of staff is a lobbyist for Libya

By Jaysim Hanspal
Posted on Tuesday, 6 September 2022 16:47

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets Libya's Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dabaiba at Downing Street in London, Britain June 24, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Hot on the back of Liz Truss' appointment as Britain's newest prime minister, revelations about the relationship between her likely chief of staff Mark Fullbrook, who has been lobbying on behalf of the Libyan parliament.

Mark Fullbrook, co-director of Truss’ campaign, is a likely shoo-in for the new PM’s chief of staff position, reports the Guardian.

Fullbrook has been lobbying the UK government on behalf of the Libyan parliament through his company Fullbrook Strategies.

Conflicts of interest

The Libyan House of Representatives, which has attempted to overthrow the UN-established government of national unity in Tripoli twice, is seen as a controversial ally for a potentially important new senior advisor.

Some see parliament, which is allied with the rival government in the country’s east, and was last elected in 2014, as a stumbling block to democratic elections in Libya, a nation seeking recognition from the UK and others.

In June 2022, the UK reopened their embassy in Tripoli, eight years after an escalation in the Libyan conflict forced it to close in 2014.

At the time, UK ambassador to Libya Caroline Hurndall said: “I am especially proud that British businesses are collaborating with Libyan companies and having a meaningful impact upon Libya’s economic development.”

A finger in every pie

Fulbrook was also the campaign director for ousted Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s appointment in June 2019, and for five years was the head of campaigning for the Conservative party.

He was also involved in Zac Goldsmith’s failed bid for mayor of London in 2016, a campaign that was lambasted for employing racist tropes against current Labour mayor Sadiq Khan.

[Fullbrook should] come clean on all his financial interests and clients over the last year before he gets into Downing Street.

On his Linkedin page, Fulbrook’s bio boasts of his almost “40 years of experience”, in which he “delivered success for commercial and political clients in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and across the Americas”.

“Mark Fullbrook is acknowledged as an expert campaigner and strategist by figures as diverse as former Speaker of the US House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, Nobel Peace Prize winner David Trimble, and Boris Johnson, all of whom he has advised,” it says.

His website, now defunct, says: “Fullbrook Strategies has currently suspended all of its commercial activities.”

Chris Bryant, Labour MP and chair of the standards committee, said in a comment to the Guardian that Fullbrook should “come clean on all his financial interests and clients over the last year before he gets into Downing Street”.

Both MP and senior advisory roles to No 10 are all required to declare conflicts of interest as well as investments and positions in private companies.

A spokesperson for the Truss campaign says: “All commercial clients of Fullbrook Strategies Ltd are declared on the UK Lobbying Register. The company suspended commercial activities on 31 August.”

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