Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott is set to be appointed as a trade adviser to the UK government despite backlash over comments he has made in the past.

It’s understood the former Sydney MP’s new role will be announced on Friday local time.

It comes after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson rejected claims he was unsuitable following his comments on women and LGBT people.

Mr Johnson said he did “not agree with those sentiments”, but he “can’t be expected” to agree with everyone who works with the government.

He said Mr Abbott had been elected by the “great, liberal democratic nation of Australia,” saying, “I think that speaks for itself.”

Mr Abbott’s role is said to be as an unpaid adviser with no direct role in future trade negotiations, instead advising ministers and officials as part of an expert panel.

More to come.

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