Over at the Spectator blog, Fraser Nelson makes a heartfelt defence of Liam Fox, suggesting the defence secretary has made “full disclosure“: ordinary people are asking “what the big deal is“, he suggests. Perhaps. But others may want answers to some or all of the following questions:
1] Was it a co-incidence that Adam Werritt was a “health adviser” when Liam Fox was Tory health spokesman? And again that he was a defence adviser when Fox became Tory defence spokesman and then defence secretary?
2] When Liam Fox said that Werritty was “not dependent on any transactional behaviour to maintain his income” what did it actually mean in plain English?
3] Werritty has run six companies over the last decade – but they have only made £20,000 in profits over that period. Why were they set up? What did they actually do?
4] One of these companies, Security Futures, made a tiny profit of under £6,000 in 2008 – but was able to give a £10,000 donation to the Atlantic Bridge Research and Education scheme. (Atlantic Bridge was set up by Fox in 1997 and Werritty became a director in 2007. From then until it was wound down last month it paid him £90,000.) How come? Two Tory MPs who were directors of Security Futures (Laura Sandys and Iain Stewart) are not commenting.
5] Two of the companies have no obvious purpose or function: Danscotia Consulting and Todiha Ltd. What exactly did they do?
6] Who paid for Werritty’s generous travel bill? He attended 18 foreign trips with Fox since the general election but the MoD insists that taxpayers did not foot the bill. If he paid it himself, how?
7] Again: what is Werritty’s source of income. According to one MoD source he has “private clients”. Who are they? What do they do for him? Will the government ask him who they are? And if he tells them, will they publish a list?
8] Why did the original Ursula Brennan interim inquiry not interview Werritty? (He was today interviewed for the first time.)
9] Why didn’t David Cameron refer the issue to Sir Philip Mawer, the independent adviser on ministerial standards?
10] Why did Werritty produce cards calling himself an “adviser” to Fox? And why did lobbyists believe that he was the conduit to the MP? (Tetra, which worked for the Porton Group, has issued a statement saying: ‘Tetra introduced its client to Adam Werritty in March 2011, widely believed at the time to be an official adviser to Dr Liam Fox.’
11] Why will the government not publish its terms of reference for its fresh inquiry into Fox/Werritty?