At the end of last year a few of Liam Fox's Conservative colleagues took an unusual decision: they contacted a number of journalists and let it be known that the Defence Secretary had given up alcohol.
None of it was for officially quoting, they said, but it might make a good diary story. Why they chose to do this was to rebut Westminster rumours – which had been doing the rounds for some time – suggesting Mr Fox "enjoyed" a drink in a way not necessarily appropriate for the Defence Secretary
One anonymous source reportedly said: "When Liam has a drink he tends to get very carried away and becomes very chatty, a bit more chatty than is sensible for a Defence Secretary."
It is within this light that the relationship between Dr Fox and Adam Werritty needs to be seen. The pair had been friends for several years before Mr Fox become Defence Secretary.
On trips abroad for the Atlantic Bridge charity, they were well known as night owls, haunting the bars and clubs of Washington. Nothing wrong or remarkable in that, but when Mr Fox entered Government last May his behaviour raised eyebrows among protocol-conscious officials at the MoD.
Last week the rumours of their relationship came back with a vengeance. These, his friends say, are unfair and unfounded and are more to do with his political enemies than about the facts.