Liam Fox MP has been criticised for planning to open a trade office in North Carolina

The new Conservative secretary for international trade has come under for his decision to open offices in Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina, which has discriminatory laws against the LGBT community. Labour leadership candidate Owen Smith took to Twitter to blast the decision, which he described as "the very opposite of an ethical foreign policy". The decision to open offices there comes as the government attempt to strengthen non-EU trade links in the wake of Brexit. North Carolina has been at the centre of the trans bathroom debate which has swept the United States, after it passed laws in March which ban trans people from using the correct bathroom. Towns in the state are also barred from passing laws which protect LGBT people against discrimination. Liam Fox has never voted in favour of measures to improve the lives of LGBT people during his time in parliament. He voted against equal marriage, and abstained on votes for equalising the age of consent and abolishing Section 28. Read more: Scottish adoption agencies encouraging same-sex couples. Beyonce and Adele lead this year's VMA nominations.