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Saturday 3 June 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire Liam Fox (left) with his best man, A Werritty, at his wedding in 2005. Werritty accompanied Fox on dozens of overseas trips despite having no formal role in his administration.
# Britain
Britain's defence secretary quits amid questions over role of best man
Liam Fox quits the cabinet amid question marks over the role of his friend Adam Werritty, who did not hold a government position.

BRITAIN’S DEFENCE SECRETARY has resigned amid escalating questions about the role of his friend and former room-mate, who joined him on dozens of overseas trips despite having no official role in the government.

The resignation of Liam Fox makes him the first Conservative Party member to quit cabinet since the coalition took office 17 months ago.

Fox was cornered by questions over the influence wielded by his friend Adam Werritty on matters of government policy, and inquiries as to who had funded his worldwide travel to join the minister on 18 overseas visits.

“I mistakenly allowed the distinction between my personal interest and my government activities to become blurred,” Fox told prime minister David Cameron in his resignation letter.

“The consequences of this have become clearer in recent days. I am very sorry for this.”

Cameron, who had vowed to wait for the results of a government inquiry before deciding on Fox’s fate, is expected to appoint the transport secretary, Philip Hammond, to the defence portfolio.

Cameron said Fox said had overseen changes that would ensure the armed forces were “fully equipped to meet the challenges of the modern era,” and praised his work.

“On Libya, you played a key role in the campaign to stop people being massacred by the Gadhafi regime and instead win their freedom,” Cameron wrote.

Werritty, 34, served as the best man at Fox’s wedding in 2005. Though he did not have any official paid role with the defence ministry, he had previously issued business cards listing him as an adviser to Fox.

The resignation caps a tough day for Cameron, with another minister Oliver Letwin under fire after it emerged that he had repeatedly dumped confidential information – including data relating to Al-Qaeda, and constituents’ personal details – in the bin in a public park.

British cabinet minister caught dumping documents in public park >

Associated Foreign Press
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