Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The UK’s defence secretary, Liam Fox, is the latest British politician to have tarnished his reputation, only this time, he’s put the nation’s security at risk.The Guardian reported last week that Fox had let a close personal friend, Adam Werrity, into Ministry of Defence buildings on several occasions. Despite having no connection to the government, Werrity described himself as the secretary’s advisor. Speculation is that he did so for financial gain, and that he was given highly classified information.
With no official government connection, Werrity did not have clearance to see any information from the Ministry of Defence. His very presence in the Ministry’s building has caused more than a small stir.
Fox said this week that he was good friends with Wettity and that the meetings between them constituted a social situation; nothing about them was business orientated. However, it was reported that Werrity accompanied the defence secretary on 18 of his 48 overseas trips made since he came to office in 2010. The two have met 40 times in total during that time.
The concern is that Werrity was lobbying on behalf of businesses that stood to gain from Fox’s policy decisions. Indeed, it has been reported that Fox’s office is bankrolled by some of the UK’s most powerful hedge fund managers who arrange some of his international flights for him.
Werrity will now face the British parliament to answer questions about his relationship with Fox. What is clear is that he has been introduced and portrayed as Fox’s advisor on more than one occasion. Previously, he handed out business cards stating that this was his role.
The British prime minister, David Cameron, has offered conditional support to Fox. The defence secretary said today that he will not resign.
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