Fox financial backer speaks


Liam Fox carrying on with job as he faces enquiry

I have spoken to a wealthy backer of Liam Fox who says he and half a dozen others raised funds to pay for Adam Werritty to act as the defence secretary's unofficial adviser - someone who, unlike civil servants, could be relied on to champion support for Eurosceptic, pro-American and pro-Israeli policies.

The donor - who wants to remain anonymous - says that he and those he introduced to Fox do not have defence interests but they do share Fox's ideological leanings. When I asked whether I or the official inquiry could see the accounts to prove this, I was told that "keeping accounts is not one of Adam's strong points".

There is one big problem with this explanation, which is clearly designed to help Fox. Having an adviser outside the rules of the civil service paid for by undeclared donors is almost certainly a breach of ministerial rules.

It also raises one big question. Fox himself said on Sunday that his friend had "defence-related business interests" - which suggests that his trips were paid for not just by ideological supporters but by those with defence interests. No official adviser would be allowed to have any such conflict of interest.

Even though the Cabinet Secretary is now running an official investigation it is the prime minister who is the judge and jury of the ministerial code - as he made clear today at Question Time in Parliament. I'm told that David Cameron spoke to a close friend of Liam Fox's last night and assured him that he would do whatever he could to keep the defence secretary in his post.

Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    Not a very clever anonymous donor - all his money he gave to this is now effectively wasted.

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    Big story missed by the BBC is the £38bn black hole in the MOD finances - which is what Fox was dealing with & very well too.
    BBC think licence fee payer money grows on trees for them to squander it around the world on foreigners & jollies
    Apart from adding 3/4 of a trillion quid & rising sharply to the UK national debt - Labour now after Fox scalp as the man cleaning up after labour MOD mess

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    Please remember Defence is not a game. The last Labour government started with a highly capable SoS, but for some reason the post seemed to be viewed as any other Ministerial post that could be played with at cabinet re-shuffles. How they got through so many amazes me. Dr Fox has defended MoD in these hard times, made difficult decisions and is driving them thru. To loose him would be a disaster!

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    Pressure group interests with a far right agenda have used Werrity to get close to Fox."Keeping accounts is not Adam`s strong point" in other words don`t look for a money trail,there`s no point

    Meanwhile Cameron will "Do whatever he could to keep Fox in post." Surely rash in advance of the inquiry

    My objection is the use of money to buy political infuence whether Fox stays in post or not

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    If you are right and the purpose was to champion the partisan view of a right wing section of the Tory party what the Hell was He doing accompanying the Defence Minister of the Coalition Government

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    Mr Fox's best chance of survival is how relatively tame his transgressions appear vs:

    Bankers creating billions for themselves out of thin air only for the rest of us to dig them (not us) out

    Virtually all our largest companies systematically shifting more than the NHS budget every year into tax havens

    Backdoor NHS privatisation


  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    All sounds like a bit of sleaze. Now where have we heard that before Mr C. Oh I know about the last time the unemployment figures were terrible, 17 years ago. I wonder who was in power then?

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    I don`t think it is too difficult to identify the source of this story. Nick is just as bad as the rest of the media with his wink wink, nudge nudge innuendos. Fox hunting was banned under Labour but they seem to be relishing the sport at the moment. One mystery Nick might want to solve is what has happened to Jim Murphy who received money from Cellcrypt and who started the whole thing off.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    Smacks of secret societies - no place for that in modern government.

    If Fox is too arrogant/stupid to see that it is time for him to go - it is one step away from the Cheney/Rumsfeld axis that held sway over Bush.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.


  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    The donor - who wants to remain anonymous how very convenient.Is he in the members interests pages ??

    Fox has to be sacked not at the end of the week NOW its a disgrace .

    Also all the trips should be paid back in FULL.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    "I'm told that David Cameron spoke to a close friend of Liam Fox's last night and assured him that he would do whatever he could to keep the Defence Secretary in his post."

    That's... So David is going to do 'whatever he can"? Shows how politics works. Good to have friends in high places

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Nick, if this explanation (that he was easy prey for wealthy vested interests with a shadowy, far right political agenda) was 'designed to help Fox', I'd simply dread to hear one that was supposed to hurt him.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    " someone who, unlike civil servants, could be relied on to champion support for Eurosceptic, pro-American and pro-Israeli policies"

    If Fox wants to do this he should do it from the back benches - otherwise he should follow the government agenda not his own.

  • Comment number 3.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    So let me get this right......If I pay for someone who can influence a Minister to further my business interests... No hang on that can't be right. Oh dear it gets messy dosn't it. Think I will just make a big donation instead. No hang on that looks dodgy. I know if I put a big wad of cash in an envelope and....Can't wait to discover who's pulling the Liam's chain
    Mr Fox is a dead man walking

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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