19 Oct 2011

Liam Fox set to address Commons

Former defence secretary Liam Fox is to read a statement to the Commons after a damning report into his activities with close friend Adam Werritty.

Fox - Reuters

Labour is poised to pile pressure on David Cameron to also make a statement about the affair, claiming there are a raft of questions left unanswered.

The prime minister will be braced for opposition MPs to quiz him at midday about the embarrassing revelations over Dr Fox‘s working relationship with the self-styled adviser.

Sir George Young, leader of the house, has currently been pencilled in by Downing Street to make a statement on behalf of the government following that session.

But Labour is considering attempting to force the prime minister into making the address instead by triggering an urgent question in the Commons.

Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell’s report yesterday criticised Dr Fox for ignoring the advice of senior officials over his links to Mr Werritty. It also found that by giving his friend access to his diary, Dr Fox created a security risk not only to himself but also to officials travelling with him on overseas visits.

And an “inappropriate and unacceptable” blurring of lines between official and personal relationships risked creating the false impression that Mr Werritty – who met Dr Fox 22 times in the MoD’s Whitehall HQ and 18 times on trips abroad, and used business cards describing himself as an adviser to the defence secretary – spoke on behalf of the UK government.