18 October 2011

UK Defence Minister Resigns

THis is a few days old, but we still needed to cover it.

LIAM Fox is gone. The resignation of the British defence secretary became inevitable once newspapers started unearthing financial trails that appeared to show a group of wealthy, self-confessed ideologues bankrolling what amounted to a one-man parallel political operation, running alongside Mr Fox's official team at the Ministry of Defence.

That operation took the form of Adam Werrity, a young man with ill-defined defence and foreign policy expertise and business interests, who despite lacking a security clearance or any official role in government, enjoyed remarkable access to Mr Fox. Their contacts included 22 visits by Mr Werrity to Mr Fox at the Ministry of Defence and another 18 meetings overseas. These encounters included a joint meeting in Dubai with a potential supplier to the British military (at which ministry officials were not present) and a meeting with the president of Sri Lanka (at a time that other branches of the British government, from the Foreign Office to Downing Street, were deeply concerned about the human rights record of the Sri Lankan government, and were reluctant to receive the president officially).

The story has been running for a week now, but changed nature in the past 48 hours. Initially, the hounds of the press were running after what seemed a reliably British story: a scandal involving a whiff of influence-peddling, spiced with a dose of sniggering innuendo. Mr Fox and the much younger Mr Werrity were former flatmates and "close friends", the press noted. They dressed alike (meaning they were photographed both wearing suits and ties). Mr Fox had been dogged by rumours about his sexuality, the press added, and when he finally married, well, Mr Werrity was his best man.

By: Brant


Anonymous said...

the bastard shouldn't have tried to act like a bloody yank politician!

Anonymous said...

If hubris could be deployed as a weapon, Fox would have been a made man.