Fox: What we know. What we don't know. What we need to know

The key issues: So Liam Fox has resigned, but he leaves behind some very awkward questions. Brian Brady looks at the facts, and gaps, so far


The 'adviser'

What we know

Adam Werritty, Liam Fox's best man and former flatmate, posed as the then Defence Secretary's adviser and met him 40 times at the Ministry of Defence and on official visits around the world, despite not being on the payroll.

What we need to know

What was his relationship with Fox? Did he do any work for him or to fund his political objectives? What was his real business? How often did the two men meet outside of the MoD but in the UK? Did Werritty profit from his relationship with the Defence Secretary? Was Fox involved in raising money to fund Werritty's work?



The business links/funders

What we know

Werritty's three directorships with minor companies provide little insight into how he funded his jet-setting lifestyle. But it has emerged he had access to almost £150,000 paid into the account of Pargav Ltd by wealthy right-wing donors. He is not listed on Pargav's official documents.

What we need to know

What was he doing in return for this money? Did his areas of interest coincide with Fox's ministerial duties? Where else does he earn his money? Do similar firms provide funding along the lines of the Pargav arrangement?



Werritty's influence behind the scenes

What we know

Werritty's meetings with Fox included a dinner in Florida with US General John R Allen, before he became commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan. But further events, including a lavish dinner in Washington last year hosted by the US branch of the Atlantic Bridge charity, were not declared. He also had access to Fox's ministerial diary.

What we need to know

Why was Werritty allowed such access and did he profit from it? Are there more undeclared meetings and who were they with? Why was he shown the diary and did he observe strict secrecy over its contents?



Other aides

What we know

Fox faced questions last year over his decision to install Luke Coffey, a former US army captain, in the MoD as his special adviser. He subsequently angered the military when he forced through the appointment of Lieutenant-Colonel Graham Livesey as a second military assistant in his private office. He also took advice from US defence lobbyist John Falk, whose job was to help military companies win contracts.

What we need to know

Did his range of unconventional advisers affect his judgement on key decisions? Was Fox unduly affected by the influence of sectional interests, including lobbyists and consultants?



The charity

What we know

Fox set up the Atlantic Bridge charity to strengthen the "special relationship" in 1997. It was later run by Werritty, from the MP's parliamentary office. It was recently dissolved by its trustees after criticism by the Charity Commission. The commission said it does not know what happened to the £36,000 left in the organisation's accounts.

What we need to know

What was Atlantic Bridge for – was it really a charity or a talking-shop for right-wingers in the UK and US? What work did Werritty do for the organisation? What has happened to the money in its accounts when the charity was dissolved?



Sri Lanka

What we know

Fox set up, with Werritty, the Sri Lanka Development Trust to fund post-conflict and redevelopment in the country after the civil war. Fox and Werritty met in Sri Lanka in July this year, when the then Defence Secretary held talks with the president and senior ministers. But the trust is not registered as a charity or a company in the UK.

What we need to know

What was Werritty doing in Sri Lanka? What does the trust do? Who works for it and who funds it? Is its work in line with UK foreign-policy objectives?



Iran

What we know

Werritty went to Iran with Fox in the summer of 2007, and it is believed Werritty went to the country alone on several occasions. He has also met with Iranian opposition groups in Washington and London, amid claims he was involved in efforts to topple President Ahmadinejad.

What we need to know

Did Fox know the extent of Werritty's travels to Iran? And were the trips licensed by him? Did Fox know Werritty was trying to topple the Ahmadinejad regime, and if so, did he try to stop it?



The USA connection

What we know

Fox, described as "a committed Atlanticist", has strong links with a series of American organisations and visits the country often. His former aide Mike Threadgould is now in Washington with the right-wing American Enterprise Institute. However, opponents criticise Fox's links with the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec), a major US lobbying organisation which set up a sister charity also known as Atlantic Bridge, and funded Fox's organisation with £28,528.

What we need to know

How close is Fox to the neo-conservative element in US politics? How close are his ties with Alec, and does he share the policy goals of the US Atlantic Bridge? Were these entirely in line with UK government policy while he was at the MoD?



The Cameron connection

What we know

The concentration on the funding of British politicians and lobbyists has moved beyond Fox and brought his colleagues and his party leader into the spotlight. Michael Hintze, the billionaire who donated £29,000 to Atlantic Bridge and allowed Werritty to work from a desk in his offices, is, like many of the other tycoons named, a key Tory donor. He has handed over £1.4m – including individual donations to Fox, George Osborne, Boris Johnson and the Prime Minister himself.

What we need to know

What do the donors get in return for their financial support? Did they exert pressure on David Cameron to ease Fox out of the Government – or even take the decision out of his hands?



The inquiries

What we know

Sir Gus O'Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary, will continue his inquiry into alleged breaches of the ministerial code and will come under pressure to publish it. The Electoral Commission is certain to launch an inquiry into the declaration of donations. The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is also expected to investigate claims that Liam Fox broke rules on registering interests.

What we need to know

Labour is stepping up the pressure on the Prime Minister by asking when he knew about the Fox-Werritty arrangement, and why he did not step in earlier. It is still unclear if all of Werritty's financial arrangements have been made public, and Fox's resignation will not stop the media digging around. The police could still be asked to investigate any possible improprieties.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Bruce Forsyth with Tess Daly in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
tvLouis Smith wins with 'Jingle Bells' quickstep on Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas Special
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Sport
sport
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

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there