Attack on Dan Tehan was part of plot to take credit for long-expected trade deal breakthrough



Bevan Shields and Latika Bourke | The Sydney Morning Herald

London: Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson are set to sign a new free trade deal at the upcoming G7 summit despite a “disrespectful” plot by supporters of an ambitious British minister to claim credit for the imminent deal.

A diplomatic brawl has overshadowed final negotiations for the long-discussed economic pact after an ally of International Trade Secretary Liz Truss derided new Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan as slow and “inexperienced” on the eve of his first official visit to London.

The unnamed figure, who Australian officials believe to be a staffer at the Department for International Trade, sought to position Truss as the only person capable of striking the deal when fresh talks begin on Thursday.

“She plans to sit him down… in an uncomfortable chair, so he has to deal with her directly for nine hours,” the ally told the UK’s Telegraphnewspaper.

“He is inexperienced compared to Liz. He needs to show that he can play at this level.”
To read the full article from The Sydney Morning Herald, please click here