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Liam Fox: 'I do not regret standing for leadership'

Dr Liam Fox, who was eliminated from the Tory leadership contest today after receiving just 16 votes from his Conservative MP colleagues, has said he does "not regret standing".

Liam Fox says he does not regret standing for party leadership Credit: PA

I am very grateful to those colleagues who supported me in the ballot today.

Naturally, I am disappointed not to progress further but I do not regret standing in this contest. I felt it was vital to stress the importance of national security in this debate and the need for a clear path to our exit from the European Union. I hope I have achieved both these objectives.

I have also sought to stress the need for experience as the successful candidate will have to take up the reins of government in less than 9 weeks.

– Dr Liam Fox MP

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Tory leadership candidate Liam Fox pencils in Brexit date

Liam Fox said the recent EU referendum has 'changed all the rules'. Credit: PA

Tory leadership candidate Liam Fox has pencilled in January 1, 2019 as a potential date for Britain officially leaving the European Union.

In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, the Leave campaigner said the "referendum changed all the rules," calling it an "earthquake in our political system".

Dr Fox also said that if he becomes prime minister he would like to see an increase in defence spending and the size of the Navy.

We need to spend money on our national security because you need to buy insurance in a dangerous world," he told the paper.

"I would want to see an increase in defence spending as we saw an increase in our economy, for me that would be a priority.

"In particular I would like to see an increase in the size of the Navy and our cyber capability."

The former defence secretary also said he would also create a new department for trade and foreign affairs under his administration.

Liam Fox: EU is 'collapsing building'

Former defence secretary Liam Fox urged the public to "trust themselves" and vote to "take back control" of the UK from the European Union which he described as a "collapsing building"

Speaking in his constituency of North Somerset, Dr Fox said it was "unworkable" to control immigration while Britain is in the EU, and instead advocated a points based system.

Following billionaire currency trader George Soros' warning that leaving the EU will trigger a plunge in the pound greater than Black Wednesday, and the warnings of economists and institutions such as the IMF that Britain should remain in the EU, Dr Fox countered that there are risks to staying in the EU and that people should "trust themselves" when casting their vote.

The Conservative MP also added that being outside the EU would allow the UK to work with growing markets, as well as gaining control of its law and borders.

Dr Fox was joined at Clevedon Pier by Culture Secretary John Whittingdale MP and Penny Mordaunt MP, both of who back leave.

Liam Fox: I have turned down Foreign Office job

Former Defence Secretary Liam Fox has revealed that he turned down the offer of a ministerial post in David Cameron's latest reshuffle of his top team.

Writing on his website, Dr Fox said: "I was honoured to be offered a post as Minister of State in the Foreign Office by the Prime Minister. I have turned it down."

Liam Fox said he wanted to stay on the backbenches to say 'what needs to be said' on key issues. Credit: PA

He said he wanted to focus on the issues that affect his North Somerset constituents, which he listed as "the economy, immigration and Europe".

Dr Fox also added that he did not want to "be distracted from what needs to be said on these matters" by taking on a ministerial role.

NHS 'should not have funding ring-fenced' after 2015

Special protections for NHS funding must end after the next general election in 2015, a leading Conservative backbencher has said.

Former defence secretary Liam Fox said Britain was lagging behind the rest of Europe in key areas like cancer and stroke outcome rates, and claimed the idea that ploughing money into the NHS improves standards had been "tested to destruction".

There was still "a huge amount of waste" in the NHS, Liam Fox has claimed. Credit: PA Wire

"The increase over the last decade has been phenomenal and yet a lot of our health indicators lag behind other countries, particular things like stroke outcome or a lot of cancer outcomes," Dr Fox told The Times newspaper.

"We've become obsessed with throughput and not outcomes and that has been hugely to the detriment of the patients in our system."

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MP claimed 3p for 100 metre car journey

Former defence secretary Liam Fox. Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Former defence secretary Liam Fox successfully claimed 3p of taxpayers' cash for a car journey of fewer than 100 metres, expenses documents show.

The Conservative MP made the claim after travelling 0.06 miles, or approximately 96.5 metres, within his North Somerset constituency from a concrete firm to a constituency surgery in Yatton in October 2012.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) notes the claim was paid last December.

Mr Fox also had another 15 claims of under £1 for car travel approved in 2012/13.

Liam Fox urges party to unite against Afriyie

Conservative ex-defence secretary Liam Fox has urged the Tories to unite against the Afriyie amendment which he said was a "gift" to opponents of a referendum.

Fox to urge scrapping of protected spending

Then Defence Secretary Liam Fox pictured in 2011. Credit: Empics

Senior Conservative Liam Fox is expected to bring Tory austerity divisions to the fore today with a direct call for the Chancellor to drop protected spending for schools, aid and the NHS.

The former Defence Secretary's intervention, which comes less than a fortnight before George Osborne's Budget, echoes concerns raised by many of the party's backbenchers over the way funding has been ring-fenced for three Whitehall departments.

According to The Times, Dr Fox will say: "I believe that in leaving money in people's pockets, economic activity will follow. People will buy houses, invest for their future or just go shopping.

"We should gradually move towards the reduction - or even abolition - of the taxes where the state not only taxes the same money on multiple occasions but discourages the very behaviour that would lead to a more responsible society."

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