Raised as a Roman Catholic, he lapsed whilst a student, but considers himself a Christian and holds political positions (e.g. on abortion) that he hopes are consonant with ensuring his election by those who hold a conservative morality. Fox is a general practitioner (he was a GP in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire before his election to Parliament), a former Civilian Army Medical Officer and Divisional Surgeon with St John Ambulance. He is a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners.
Whilst studying at the University of Glasgow, he became president of the Glasgow University Conservative and Unionist Association. From there he advanced through the Conservative ranks. Fox contested the Hairmyres Ward of East Kilbride District Council in May 1984, coming second – 210 votes – to the incumbent Labour Councillor, Ed McKenna.
In July 1994, he was appointed an Assistant Government Whip. Following a limited government reshuffle in November 1995, he was appointed a Lord Commissioner of Her Majesty's Treasury – a Senior Government Whip. He was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1996 to 1997.
In 1996, he brokered an accord in Sri Lanka, called the Fox Peace Plan, between Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge’s PA and the opposition UNP of Ranil Wickremesinghe, on a bipartisan approach for ending the ethnic war. However, little has happened since then to suggest that the various parties have acted in good faith in the interests of peace..
In December 2000, he issued a qualified apology for making a joke about the Spice Girls. The joke, which was addressed to fellow Conservative MPs at a Christmas party, was: "What do you call three dogs and a blackbird? The Spice Girls.".
In November 2003, Fox was appointed campaign manager for Michael Howard following the no-confidence vote against the Conservative leader, Iain Duncan Smith. Fox was made co-chairman of the party by Michael Howard when he became party leader in November 2003. After the 2005 general election he was promoted within the Shadow Cabinet to become Shadow Foreign Secretary. On December 7 2005 he was moved to Defence by new Leader of the Opposition David Cameron MP.
His campaign theme for the 2005 leadership race was based on the "broken society" theme, which he says Conservatives can address by returning emphasis to marriage and reforming welfare.
In the initial ballot of Conservative MPs, on 18 October, he gained enough support (42 votes) to avoid coming last, and put himself through to the second ballot to be held two days later.
He was eliminated with 51 votes in third place behind David Cameron (90 votes) and David Davis (57 votes). Cameron, who eventually won the leadership election, gave Fox the role of Shadow Defence Secretary.
He voted for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. As Shadow Defence Secretary he has supported the Government’s position of maintaining British troops in Iraq until the security situation on the ground allows for a withdrawal of troops but has been critical of the lack of post-invasion planning and poor equipment initially provided to British troops. He supported the idea of the American Surge and believes that it has been successful.
Since becoming Shadow Defence Secretary he has visited Iraq on two occasions.
He has been an outspoken supporter of the war in Afghanistan and the British presence there. He has been critical towards some of the European NATO partners whom he believes are not contributing enough to the effort in the more dangerous southern and eastern parts of Afghanistan. He believes that the current British led Opium eradication programme is failing.
Since becoming Shadow Defence Secretary he has visited Afghanistan on two occasions
He has spoken on a number of occasions regarding Iran’s nuclear ambitions and believes that all options, including the use of military force, have to be on the table. He is opposed to an Iran with a nuclear weapons capability.
In July 2007 he travelled to Iran.
He has very strong Atlanticist views. He believes that NATO is the cornerstone of the United Kingdom and Europe’s defence and that NATO must have primacy over the European Union including the right of first refusal for all matters relating to the defence of continental Europe.
He has been critical of the common funding mechanism within NATO and has called for a system to be used that allows for more proportionate burden sharing between NATO member states for NATO led military operations.
He is considered to be staunchly Eurosceptic and opposed to European defence integration as well as European political integration. He is opposed to the European Commission having any role in defence policy. He believes that the European Security and Defence Policy duplicates and takes away scarce national resources from NATO.
He specifically opposes the defence provisions in the Lisbon Treaty.
He does not support capital punishment.
Although no longer religious, he is critical of abortion and supports the traditional family – for sociological, not moral, reasons.
He has claimed on a number of occasions that the Military Covenant is broken and that the British Armed Forces are being asked to do too much for what they are resourced to do.
Along with the leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron, he established the Military Covenant Commission headed by Frederick Forsyth with the aim of finding ways to improve the welfare of service members, veterans, and their families under a future Conservative Government.
He is a strong believer in the Special Relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States. He is the UK Director and founding member of The Atlantic Bridge. A UK based charity that aims to preserve and promote the Special Relationship exemplified by the Reagan-Thatcher partnership of the 1980s.
Fox was able to retain a good relationship with the administration of George W. Bush, despite a five year break down in relations between the Conservative and Republican parties over the Iraq War. He led the Conservative delegation to the 2008 Republican National Convention.
GERARD LONGUET'S LONDON PRESS CONFERENCE WITH LIAM FOX STATEMENTS MADE BY GERARD LONGUET, MINISTER FOR DEFENCE AND VETERANS, DURING HIS JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE WITH LIAM FOX, BRITISH DEFENCE MINISTER (EXCERPTS).(Conference news)
May 09, 2011; LONDON, UK -- The following information was released by the French Embassy in the United Kingdom: THE MINISTER - I'd like to say...