Rona Fairhead, the former chief executive of the Financial Times Group, has been appointed a trade minister, replacing former Waitrose chief Mark Price.

The appointment marks a return to political favour for Ms Fairhead, who endured criticism from MPs during her time as chair of the BBC Trust, the broadcaster’s oversight body.

Ms Fairhead was told a year ago that she would have to reapply for the role, when it was refashioned to be chair of a unitary BBC board. She decided not to do so. She was also targeted by MPs for her time as a non-executive of HSBC, which was found to have facilitated tax avoidance. She will now become a member of the House of Lords.

The trade ministry, headed by Liam Fox, is in charge of negotiating trade agreements to boost Britain’s economy after Brexit. Lord Price left the department after just 17 months, “to pursue my wider business and writing interests”, including a monthly column on happiness in the workplace for the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

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