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
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Sport
Jonatahn Sexton scores a penalty
rugby
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
weird news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?