MoD hunts for reports submitted by Adam Werritty

If records show friend was paid adviser, Fox would be in breach of ministerial rules

The Ministry of Defence has been asked by the Cabinet Office to trawl their records for any reports on defence or foreign policy issues submitted to the department by Liam Fox's unofficial aide Adam Werritty, The Independent understands.

If such documents exist, it may leave Mr Fox open to charges that he was using Mr Werritty, whose income supposedly came from a number of wealthy right-wing benefactors, as an adviser and put the Defence Secretary in breach of ministerial rules.

His aides were forced to mollify Mr Werritty yesterday after he was traduced in private briefings to journalists as a "Walter Mitty figure" who was "masquerading" as someone much more influential than he was.

He had already agreed to go co-operate in the questioning and had become distressed by the attacks behind his back. A senior Tory source said: "It was a strange strategy to take and it has now been discontinued. We are not sure what was supposed to be gained by upsetting Adam Werritty, who says he can show he did not make money out of his contacts with Liam Fox."

Labour last night called on the Government to publish the terms of reference of Gus O'Donnell's inquiry amid fears that it would not address all the issues about Mr Fox's relationship with Mr Werritty. A source close to the inquiry suggested the investigation was focusing on the question of whether Mr Werritty had received specific payments directly linked to the setting up of meetings with Mr Fox.

Mr Werritty is thought to have denied receiving money for setting up meetings with Mr Fox, but admitted receiving income from wealthy individuals, which allowed him to travel extensively with the Defence Secretary.

Craig Murray, a former British ambassador, said he had spoken to someone with access to the Cabinet Office investigation into Fox's relationship with Mr Werritty who told him it was looking only at the question of facilitating meetings.

"The investigation into Werritty's finances will look only at the question of whether he received specific payments that can be linked directly to the setting up of specific meetings with Fox," he said. "The answer is thought to be no; that is what Fox was indicating by his formulation to the House of Commons that Werritty was 'not dependent on any transactional behaviour to maintain his income'."

Jim Murphy MP, Labour's shadow defence secretary, said it was "barely believable" the Government had refused to publish the terms of reference of the inquiry. "It is troubling that we have not had any formal indication of the issues that will be covered or, crucially, the standards by which the Defence Secretary's conduct will be judged," he said.

The Labour MP Anas Sarwar called on the Electoral Commission to investigate the suggestion that Mr Werritty had been supported by "a number of wealthy private clients" who shared his and Mr Fox's strong Atlanticist views.

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."

David Cameron dismissed suggestions that he would be "a weak leader" if he allowed Mr Fox to be hounded out of office by a media campaign.

Sport
The sun rises over St Andrews golf course, but will it be a new dawn for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club?
sportAnd it's Yes to women (at the R&A)
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
footballToure's lack of defensive work is big problem for City
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

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

Volunteer your expertise as Trustee for The Society of Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...

Email Designer

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Psychology Teacher

£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...

Food Technology Teacher

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week