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Liam Fox 'adviser' set up Dubai meeting with would-be defence contractor

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Liam Fox 'adviser' set up Dubai meeting with would-be defence contractor

Post  Angelique on Sun 9 Oct - 2:16

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8814932/Liam-Fox-adviser-set-up-Dubai-meeting-with-would-be-defence-contractor.html


Liam Fox 'adviser' set up Dubai meeting with would-be defence contractor
A friend of the Defence Secretary Liam Fox arranged a Dubai hotel meeting with him for a company hoping to sell technology to the MoD.

The meeting, held without officials, was said to have been organised by Adam Werritty, who was Dr Liam Fox's best man and former flatmate.
Mr Werritty is at the centre of an investigation over links between the two men after a series of revelations about their relationship.
The Dubai meeting apparently centred on voice encryption which the Porton Group wanted to sell to the Ministry of Defence. Harvey Boulter, its chief executive, said he had been put in touch with Mr Werritty by a lobbying firm.
Meanwhile, another of Mr Werritty's business cards has emerged, claiming that he worked for "the office of Dr Liam Fox MP". Previously it had been disclosed that he had cards claiming to be an adviser to the Defence Secretary.
Dr Fox allowed Mr Werritty to live rent-free in his taxpayer-funded flat, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.
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Mr Werritty also used the Defence Secretary's London residence when setting up a defence consultancy firm.
The latest disclosures add to pressure on Dr Fox over his dealings with Mr Werritty. Labour has already suggested that Dr Fox may have risked security breaches by allowing Mr Werritty to make regular visits to the MoD in Whitehall.
Mr Werritty has also accompanied the Defence Secretary on overseas trips, arranged official meetings for him and described himself as his adviser.
He lived in Dr Fox's flat in Southwark, London, in 2002 and 2003.
Until earlier this year, Dr Fox claimed Commons expenses for the flat, of around £1,400 a month for mortgage interest under the Additional Costs Allowance (ACA), the allowance that was at the heart of the MPs' expenses scandal. Dr Fox confirmed that Mr Werritty "used the spare room" in 2002-03. He confirmed that his friend had not paid for it.
Official documents also show that Mr Werritty listed Dr Fox's flat when he registered himself as a director of Security Futures, a defence consultancy he set up. The company is now defunct.
In a statement, Dr Fox said: "I have never sublet or rented out the whole or any part of the flat. A friend used the spare room in the flat for a number of months in 2002-03. No rent was requested or paid. To the best of my knowledge there has never been a company registered at this address whilst I have owned the property."
The 2003 edition of the Green Book, the rules on MPs' expenses, is not clear on the subject of non-paying residents.MPs were "strongly advised" not to sublet expenses-funded properties. It also said: "The following expenditure is not allowable: Living costs for anyone other than yourself." John Mann, a Labour MP, said that regardless of the book, Dr Fox's actions were "highly questionable."
It was reported by The Guardian last night that Mr Werritty ran the Atlantic Bridge charity from Dr Fox's parliamentary office while the MP was in opposition last year. The charity was later wound up amid claims that it was too political. It emerged earlier yesterday that Mr Werritty met Dr Fox on a visit to Sri Lanka last year. Dr Fox has said that his friend had not accompanied him on official visits abroad. Dr Fox told the BBC they met at a private function and denied any wrongdoing.
Dr Fox was in Libya last night, where he met Jalal al-Digheily, defence minister in the interim government.
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Angelique
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Re: Liam Fox 'adviser' set up Dubai meeting with would-be defence contractor

Post  margaret on Tue 11 Oct - 11:32

This is going on far too long now, l wonder if the papers won't leave them alone because their having an affair or something? Fox has been a silly man trying to impress but it's hardly the scandal the papers are trying to make it.

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Re: Liam Fox 'adviser' set up Dubai meeting with would-be defence contractor

Post  Angelique on Tue 11 Oct - 17:40

margaret

I agree - he was very unwise to have let himself be "used" in this way. If this was his best friend and Dr. Fox thought there was nothing wrong with what they were doing - he is not his best friend. IMO Adam Werrity may not have gained financially via his Bank Accounts - which have shown that he has no obvious income. Then either there are other accounts not disclosed or he gained from the 'kudos' of his connection from other commercial transactions.

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Re: Liam Fox 'adviser' set up Dubai meeting with would-be defence contractor

Post  Angelique on Tue 11 Oct - 17:49

Liam Fox used expenses to pay his best man Adam Werritty

This following headline is from the actual paper edition:

Minister's job under threat as it emerges friends also acted as a person 'envoy'


Liam Fox, the Defence Secretary, put a close friend with “defence-related business interests” on the public payroll, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

Adam Werritty, whose relationship with Dr Fox threatens the minister’s career, was paid with taxpayers’ money as a parliamentary researcher.
This newspaper has also learnt that Mr Werritty, who holds no official government role, acted as Dr Fox’s personal envoy to Sri Lanka, arranging his meetings with senior ministers.
The latest disclosures come after Dr Fox issued a humiliating public apology over his relationship with Mr Werritty and David Cameron put his own reputation on the line by backing the Defence Secretary.
Dr Fox, 50, has found himself at the eye of the political storm over his links with Mr Werritty, 34, his former flatmate and best man.
In an extraordinary public statement, Dr Fox admitted yesterday that the line between his public duties and private life had been “blurred”.




Given Mr Werritty’s defence-related business interests, my frequent contacts with him may have given an impression of wrongdoing,” he said.
Days earlier, the minister had described questions about his conduct as “baseless” and “wild”.
Despite insisting that Mr Werritty has no official role at the Ministry of Defence, Dr Fox has admitted meeting his friend several times overseas while on government business.
On at least one of those trips,
Mr Werritty arranged for Dr Fox to meet privately with defence industry executives.
Previously, the minister was known to have met Mr Werritty in Dubai and Sri Lanka. The Daily Telegraph has also learnt that since Dr Fox took office, the two men have met in Singapore and Bahrain while the minister was on official business.
The encounters took place at high-level meetings of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a think-tank that brings together politicians, diplomats, military chiefs and executives.
The Defence Secretary’s job is on the line over his close contact with Mr Werritty, a “business consultant” and former director of a security consultancy firm. Mr Cameron will today receive the interim findings of a Whitehall inquiry into Dr Fox’s conduct, carried out by the senior civil servant at the MoD and overseen by Sir Gus O’Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary.
The Prime Minister yesterday backed the Defence Secretary, who will face intensive questions in the Commons today. The two men spoke by telephone yesterday morning, with sources describing Mr Cameron’s approach as “very supportive”.
Despite a sometimes difficult personal relationship, No 10 insisted that Mr Cameron did not want to lose Dr Fox from his Cabinet. The minister stood against Mr Cameron for the Conservative Party leadership in 2005.
William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, and George Osborne, the Chancellor, are also said to have voiced support for Dr Fox.
Mr Werritty has labelled himself as an “adviser” to the Defence Secretary, something Dr Fox has described as “unacceptable”. Yet financial records seen by The Daily Telegraph show an economic relationship between the two friends.
The papers disclose that in 2005/06, Dr Fox’s Commons office budgeted for a £690 National Insurance payment relating to Mr Werritty’s employment.
The payment suggests that he had been employed by Dr Fox in the previous year. At the time, Mr Werritty was the director of a company called UK Health. Since Mr Werritty has never been issued with a House of Commons security pass, the payment will raise questions about what work he was doing for the MP’s office.
Dr Fox has already been referred to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards for allowing Mr Werritty to stay rent-free in his flat, which was funded by his expenses, in 2002/03.
Dr Fox has denied allowing Mr Werritty to play any role in government business, but it has also emerged that the younger man played a central part in arranging the minister’s contacts with members of the Sri Lankan government.
It was reported last week that Mr Werritty accompanied Dr Fox to meetings with Sri Lankan ministers in Colombo and London.
The Daily Telegraph can now disclose that he was in direct contact with Sri Lankan ministers on Dr Fox’s behalf in December last year.
The minister had planned a “private” trip to Colombo on Dec 20, which was vetoed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. British diplomats believe Dr Fox’s close relationship with the Sri Lankan government undermines UK foreign policy.
It is understood that Mr Werritty had flown to Colombo several days before Dr Fox’s scheduled arrival in December.
When the FCO intervened, it was Mr Werritty, and not the British embassy, who told Sri Lankan ministers that the trip had been called off.
GL Peiris, the Sri Lankan foreign minister, is understood to have asked Mr Werritty to ensure that the trip was described as postponed instead of cancelled. The MoD later issued a statement saying Dr Fox’s visit had been “postponed”. He subsequently carried out the trip in July this year, when Mr Werritty was again in Sri Lanka.
Mr Werritty’s business interests remain unclear, but it is known that a London lobbying firm last year introduced him to Harvey Boulter of Porton Capital, a firm hoping to sell secure communications technology to the MoD.
Mr Werritty then arranged for Dr Fox to hold a private meeting in Dubai without civil servants present to take notes.
Mr Boulter has withdrawn some of his claims about the meeting, but Dr Fox still conceded that he was “wrong” to hold the discussion in private.
He denied any personal benefit, but admitted it had exposed the Government to the “suggestion of wrongdoing”.
Labour dismissed Dr Fox’s response as “inadequate” and called for a full independent investigation.
Kevan Jones, a shadow defence minister, said: “The Defence Secretary simply cannot have sensitive meetings behind the back of his officials.
“This is incredibly serious and this response is incredible.”
John Mann, the Labour backbencher who referred Dr Fox’s expenses claims to the Commons commissioner, repeated calls for the minister to quit.
But Mark Pritchard, secretary of the backbench Conservative 1922 Committee, said the Defence Secretary was in a solid position.
“From the backbenchers I have spoken with, on both the Left and Right of the party; the Defence Secretary still has a huge amount of support. His statement has added to that support,” he said.


Envoy - noun:
1.
a diplomatic agent.
2.
any accredited messenger or representative.
3.
Also called envoy extraordinary, minister plenipotentiary. a diplomatic agent of the second rank, next in status after an ambassador.

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Re: Liam Fox 'adviser' set up Dubai meeting with would-be defence contractor

Post  margaret on Tue 11 Oct - 18:42

Thanks Angelique so the waters are getting muddier.... not sure if Fox should stand down, if he's good at his job he should get a dressing down and stay on but it's public money that's at stake here.

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Re: Liam Fox 'adviser' set up Dubai meeting with would-be defence contractor

Post  Angelique on Thu 13 Oct - 23:38

margaret

Agree - it's getting darker and more murky now - possible bungs to interested Companies in the press tomorrow - will post it up but I would honestly say Fox will have to jump sometime!

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Re: Liam Fox 'adviser' set up Dubai meeting with would-be defence contractor

Post  Angelique on Thu 13 Oct - 23:46

In addition:

It's all very well for the MOD to state that Werrity had no access to any MOD official files. But he walked the corridors one presumes, he must have looked at the doors, seen faces, picked up part conversations - how do we know that someone who has an agenda against this Country could now be very interested in Werrity. That's putting aside the fact that he could be a "sleeper" acting for another Country. Who in their right mind would want Fox as Defence Secretary if this is how he behaves.

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Re: Liam Fox 'adviser' set up Dubai meeting with would-be defence contractor

Post  Badboy on Fri 14 Oct - 18:13

announced on 6 o'clock that fox has resigned.

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Re: Liam Fox 'adviser' set up Dubai meeting with would-be defence contractor

Post  Angelique on Wed 2 Nov - 19:30

Dr Liam Fox hopes to be driven to new post



Dr Liam Fox, the former defence secretary, has been permitted to keep his chauffeur-driven car for an undisclosed period.

Liam Fox is the former defence secretary. Photo: PA
By Tim Walker 7:30AM GMT 02 Nov 2011
Dr Liam Fox, who declared this week that he wants to return to front-line politics, could be forgiven for forgetting that he had ever left it.
Mandrake can disclose that the former defence secretary has been allowed to keep his chauffeur-driven BMW.
“As a former defence secretary, Dr Liam Fox is receiving protection provided by the Metropolitan Police,” confirms a spokesman for the Ministry of Defence. “He has retained his ministerial car for him and two protection officers.”
The MoD declines to say how long Dr Fox can enjoy the use of the armour-plated vehicle. “He will keep this for a certain amount of time,” says the spokesman. “This decision is risk-based and will be taken by the Met.”
Dr Fox resigned last month after what he described as a “maelstrom” of media scrutiny and public criticism over his links to his self-styled adviser, Adam Werritty. The best man at the former minister’s wedding was with Dr Fox on 18 foreign trips and was present at meetings with senior military figures.
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At the time of his resignation, Dr Fox admitted that he had allowed the distinctions between his professional life and personal loyalties to become “blurred”.
This week, he said: “I would certainly like to get back to the front bench – how quickly is another matter.” The Conservative MP for North Somerset added: “It will be interesting being on the backbenches. I will certainly be freer to say what I want.” Dr Fox insisted that he had simply made “a careless mistake”

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Re: Liam Fox 'adviser' set up Dubai meeting with would-be defence contractor

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