David Cameron needs facts before making Liam Fox decision

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Prime Minster David Cameron has suggested he would be "a weak leader" if he made a decision on Liam Fox's future before the facts about the financial affairs of his close friend and self-styled adviser Adam Werritty had been established.

Mr Werritty will be questioned for a second time by senior civil servants investigating his relationship with Dr Fox, the Defence Secretary, either on Thursday or Friday.



Speaking during a visit to Aberdeen, where he was welcoming BP's announcement of a near £10 billion investment in the UK oil industry, Mr Cameron said: "I think what is right is to allow the Cabinet Secretary Gus O'Donnell to complete his full report. I think we have to be patient and allow him to gather the information, to answer the questions and a judgment can be made.



"But let me repeat again, I think Liam Fox has done a good job in sorting out the defence budget, making sure we've effective in Libya, and clearing up the mess in the MoD left by the last administration."



Mr Cameron was responding to new allegations that wealthy backers of Dr Fox had funded Mr Werritty's work and travel, claims that Labour said have appeared to "blow a hole" in the Defence Secretary's position.



Mr Cameron added: "A strong leader actually recognises you have to take time to get all the information, answer all the questions, and then actually make a decision.



"A weak leader is someone who jumps at it because of some artificial deadline. Let's get the facts established, and then we'll make a decision."







Labour MP Anas Sarwar called on the Electoral Commission to investigate the latest claims that anonymous backers had paid Mr Werritty.



In a letter to the watchdog, Mr Sarwar said there had been "potential breaches of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000" as anonymous donations were illegal.



Referring to reports that Mr Werritty was effectively a privately-funded adviser to the Defence Secretary, he wrote: "If true, this would be a donation to Liam Fox, which would legally have to be declared.



"Records of donors available on the Electoral Commission website list a number of donations to Dr Fox but none of these date from after the 2010 election - a period when Mr Werritty is reported to have been an adviser to Dr Fox - and it is unclear whether these donations relate to money used for the employment of Adam Werritty.



"Additionally, Dr Fox's entry in the House of Commons Register of Members' Financial Interests makes no reference to Adam Werritty."



The BBC reported that Mr Werritty, who has been by the Defence Secretary's side on numerous overseas visits over the past 18 months, was bankrolled by "a number of wealthy private clients" who shared his and Dr Fox's strong Atlanticist views.



Arriving at the Ministry of Defence this morning, Dr Fox said he was concentrating on his job at an important time for operations in Libya.



"I'm continuing to do what is needed at the moment, which is that the Defence Secretary focuses on defence issues," he told reporters.



But Labour leader Ed Miliband said: "This uncertainty is not good for the country.



"We've got a distracted Defence Secretary and a distracted Government.



"The questions are mounting about Liam Fox, and the best way of answering those questions is to speedily get on with the report that is being done."



Mr Miliband said Prime Minister David Cameron should have referred the inquiry into Dr Fox's conduct to an independent adviser.



"Let's get on with that report and then let's find out what his judgment is about whether Liam Fox broke the ministerial code," he said.









Mr Miliband accused the Prime Minister of being "weak" in his response to the allegations surrounding Dr Fox.



Renewing his questions over why the case had not been referred to the independent adviser on the ministerial code, Sir Philip Mawer, he told a press conference: "There is an issue now about delay and indecision at the heart of Government.



"A report should have been commissioned swiftly, and then a decision should have been made.



"He is showing ineffective leadership. He should have acted more swiftly, he should have done what the code says."



The Labour leader said Mr Cameron was showing himself to be "a weak Prime Minister seemingly unable to make the right decision".

PA

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Popes current and former won't be watching the football together
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
News
business
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
Sport
Germany's Andre Greipel crosses the finish line to win the sixth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 194 kilometers (120.5 miles) with start in Arras and finish in Reims, France
tour de franceGerman champion achieves sixth Tour stage win in Reims
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
News
people
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Business Analyst Consultant (Financial Services)

£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

Systems Administrator - Linux / Unix / Windows / TCP/IP / SAN

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...

AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer

£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...

E-Commerce Developer

£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Exciting opp...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial