'Adviser' Adam Werritty joined Liam Fox at talks on Iran sanctions

Israeli diplomats say they believed Defence Secretary's best man was his official aide

Senior Israeli diplomats believed that Adam Werritty was an official adviser to the Defence Secretary Liam Fox when the pair attended a top-level conference that discussed sanctions against Iran, The Independent has learned. Mr Werritty organised a dinner during the Herzliya conference in Israel in February this year for politicians and senior officials, which was attended by the Defence Secretary and Matthew Gould, the British ambassador. But he did it without any UK diplomats in the country being involved in the arrangements, it is claimed.

Israeli officials said they were under the impression that Mr Werritty was a senior adviser to Mr Fox and took part extensively in political discussions at Herzliya advocating a tough stance against Iran, a view he had arrived at, he said, after visiting the country.

Mr Fox, in his address to the conference, also raised the need for further sanctions against the Tehran regime. An interim report produced by Ursula Brennan, the most senior civil servant at the Ministry of Defence, revealed that Mr Werritty's presence at a meeting between Mr Fox and Mr Gould, before the latter took up his post in Tel Aviv, was unauthorised.

An Israeli official present at the conference said: "No one had any reason to doubt that Adam Werritty was a senior adviser to Mr Fox. He was very much involved with Mr Fox's schedule, arranging things and it seemed like something he had done many times before."

It also emerged yesterday that Tetra Strategy, a lobbying firm that introduced a client to Mr Werritty, also thought he was Mr Fox's adviser. In a statement, it said: "Tetra introduced its client to Adam Werritty in March 2011, widely believed at the time to be an official adviser to Liam Fox. The purpose of the introduction was to brief the MoD."

In further damaging revelations, it was reported last night that Mr Werritty has been working out of an office belonging to Michael Hintze, a major Tory Party donor and founder of the CQS hedge fund. Another report alleged that Mr Werritty had described his position as "office of Liam Fox" when he booked into the five-star Shangri-La hotel in Dubai, during a trip in which he met with Mr Fox.

The new revelations come as Mr Werritty was interviewed by officials looking into allegations surrounding the links between the two men. Sources close to the inquiry said a conversation between Mr Werritty and Cabinet Office officials took place at an undisclosed location away from Whitehall.

Mr Werritty has had to provide the inquiry with a full list of his business interests and has been asked to detail all his income from defence sources. Mr Fox's political career may depend on whether the inquiry finds that Mr Werritty benefited financially. The Prime Minister's spokesman said: "There is a process under way. The Cabinet Secretary is leading it. He will address the remaining questions people have been asking. The objective is to establish the facts and get the full picture. That is what we will do."

Meanwhile, a senior Tory backbencher warned that the controversy was in danger of becoming a "distraction" for the MoD. Patrick Mercer, a former Army officer, said MoD staff needed to get on with running campaigns in Afghanistan and Libya.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions