Werritty admits to being 'naive' over Fox links

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Indy Politics

The man whose close links to Liam Fox cost the former Defence Secretary his job has admitted to being "naive" about their links.

In his first interview since the scandal broke in October, Adam Werritty said that many of the allegations levelled against him during that time were "long on drama and innuendo, but short on details and specifics". He also asked the question: "What had this 'villainous' Adam Werritty actually done?"

Mr Fox resigned in the face of intense pressure after it was revealed that Mr Werritty, a close friend and former flatmate, had attended dozens of meetings and travelled overseas with the then Defence Secretary.

The pair had met a total of 40 times at the MoD's Whitehall HQ or on trips abroad to Israel, Singapore, Dubai, Washington, Florida, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka. Mr Werritty also handed out business cards which identified him as an adviser to Mr Fox, despite having no such position.

In an interview with the Spectator, Mr Werritty said he had been affected by his part in the circumstances which led to Mr Fox's resignation, and admitted mistakes. "I know and accept that I made mistakes, some of which were sufficiently serious to have played their part in Liam's resignation as Defence Secretary. As a close friend of his, I found this particularly hard," he said. He added: "I was certainly naive not to have better considered how my role, and regular contact with Liam, would look from the outside."

A report carried out by the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O'Donnell, found that Mr Fox had breached the ministerial code of conduct, but that he had not profited financially from the relationship. In a letter to David Cameron, Mr Fox accepted that he had allowed the distinction between his personal interests and Government activities to become "blurred".