Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

PM intervenes in Fox flatmate row

Beleaguered Defence Secretary Liam Fox is fighting for his political career after the row over his working relationship with a close friend deepened.

Prime Minister David Cameron is poised to decide his fate on Monday after ordering the head of the civil service to urgently report back on an internal investigation into whether Dr Fox's links to Adam Werritty, a former flatmate, breached ministerial guidelines.

A series of allegations have surfaced over the unusual involvement Mr Werritty had in brokering meetings for Dr Fox, as well as the access he enjoyed to government despite having no formal parliamentary or Whitehall role.

Dr Fox was forced to issue an embarrassing statement clarifying comments he made earlier about how a meeting in Dubai with a businessman had been arranged after emails emerged that appeared to contradict him.

But he also insisted he had nothing to hide and indicated he was the victim of a smear campaign.

He told The Sunday Telegraph: "I have absolutely no fear of complete transparency in these matters. I think there are underlying issues behind these claims and the motivation is deeply suspect."

Further revelations emerged, however, that cast doubt on previous claims made by Dr Fox that Mr Werritty, best man at his wedding, had never attended formal meetings with overseas dignitaries.

According to the Observer, footage has been uncovered that shows Mr Werritty meeting Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa with Dr Fox in a London hotel last year.

The controversy has dominated what should have been a publicity coup for Dr Fox as he made his first visit to Libya to meet the interim government and announced an additional package of support in the fight against arms proliferation.

During the visit he was asked to answer allegations that Mr Werritty arranged the Dubai hotel meeting, away from officials, with him and a private equity company.

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph