UK

Liam Fox under pressure to explain friendship

Mr Liam Fox
Image caption Mr Fox is under fire for his working relationship with a close friend, who was also his best man

The prime minister is wasting no time in getting answers about what exactly the nature of the Defence Secretary Liam Fox's relationship is with Adam Werritty.

An investigation was launched on Friday and was due to report back by 21 October. But David Cameron has brought that forward calling for the initial findings to be on his desk by Monday.

One question Mr Fox will have to answer is what was Adam Werritty's role? He had portrayed himself as an adviser to Mr Fox - indeed he handed out two different business cards, both carrying the House of Commons crest.

One described him as an "adviser" to Mr Fox and the other had his name as well as "the office of Dr Liam Fox MP".

Mr Fox last week said he told Mr Werritty to stop using the cards but has not explained why he was using them in the first place, despite not being employed by the government or the Conservative party.

And why was Adam Werritty given access to the Defence Secretary's office at the Ministry of Defence (MoD)? He visited 14 times in 16 months, despite not having security clearance.

'No fear'

Key to this is did someone without security clearance have access to classified information? And has there been any impropriety in MoD procurement contracts?

Mr Fox says he has "absolutely no fear of complete transparency in these matters".

He will be appearing at Defence Questions in the Commons on Monday afternoon.

Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy has said Mr Fox has questions to answer and if he does not volunteer to give a full statement he will force him to do so.

He has stopped short of calling for the Defence Secretary's resignation - saying he is not in the business of collecting political scalps.

Mr Fox will have to come up with answers tomorrow if he is to satisfy the prime minister and colleagues in the Commons.

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