Daily Archives: October 12, 2011

Jim Pickard

Jim Murphy, shadow defence secretary, has backed a call by a Labour backbencher for the authorities to investigate Adam Werritty.

We can’t have someone claiming to be a government adviser and in so doing being open to the allegation that he has broken the law. It is right this is investigated,” Murphy told me tonight. 

Elizabeth Rigby

David Cameron really is trying to push this female friendly line.

On the eve of his ‘Women in Business’ event at Downing Street, and less than 48 hours after his announcement that he is going to make forced marriages illegal, the prime minister is now pushing plans to change rules on royal succession. 

Jim Pickard

David Cameron and Nick Clegg are planning to employ more political special advisers than Gordon Brown, in spite of promising to limit their numbers. Mr Clegg is to recruit six more special advisers to help the Liberal Democrats cope with the pressures of government, increasing the party’s firepower in Whitehall.

But the decision means that the coalition government will now employ some 80 special advisers – based on the latest data – compared with the 78 employed by Gordon Brown’s administration.

“No doubt we will get a bit of flak about this but I think it will genuinely make for better government,” said one ally of Mr Clegg. The coalition agreement spoke of limiting the number of so-called “Spads”.

Mr Clegg has argued – with backing from organisations like the Institute for Government – that he needs more support to carry out his functions as deputy prime minister. 

Kiran Stacey

At today’s PMQs, we saw a first: it was the first time that Ed Miliband attacked Cameron on the economy, and won – well almost.

Provided with the ammunition of some terrible employment figures, Miliband had an ideal quote with which to bash the prime minister:

The prime minister justified his economic policy by saying unemployment would fall this year, next year and the year after. Isn’t it time he admitted his plan isn’t working?

 

Jim Pickard

Yesterday we brought you 11 questions which would help to illuminate the activities of Fox and Werrity. Here are another seven.

1] Adam Werritty was in Dubai in June this year. If it was “in a private capacity” – as the government has said – then why did he book into a hotel describing his position as “office of Dr Liam Fox”. And why was the meeting initially presented as a coincidence?

2] Allies of Fox are now telling sympathetic journalists that Werritty’s funding came from various international Atlanticist philanthropists. If so, why was he the director of six companies? And why has the MoD admitted it doesn’t know who Werrity’s “clients” are? Does he not have any clients after all? If he has independent funding from Tory donors then why has he held meetings with lobbyists?

3] Is Michael Hintze, founder of the CQS hedge fund, one of them? Werritty has been using a desk at CQS’s office in London, according to today’s Telegraph. Sources close to Hintze told the Telegraph that he regularly offered office space to “charities” he supported. Does he mean Atlantic Bridge, which has ceased to exist after criticism from the Charity Commission?

4] On Monday Fox said that the Sri Lanka Development Trust was a “mechanism that would allow reconstruction funding to occur through the private sector”. He said that when he entered government he passed control of it to Werritty and other unnamed associates. Why is SLDT not registered as a company or a charity in the UK? Is it registered somehow in Sri Lanka?