Britain's Defense Secretary Under Fire

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BY KYLIE MCGIVERN Britain’s Secretary of Defense Liam Fox’s career is on the line over dealings with his b...
BY KYLIE MCGIVERN Britain’s Secretary of Defense Liam Fox’s career is on the line over dealings with his best man and former flatmate Adam Werritty. Fox denied allegations he allowed Werritty, a defense businessman, to sit in on high-level meetings. But then this happened. This video, featured on The Telegraph’s web site, shows Fox and Werritty on an official visit with Sri Lanka’s president. The problem is, Werritty isn’t a government employee and doesn’t have security clearance. Yet -- he was calling himself an adviser to Fox. This kind of access has critics alleging the defense secretary breached national security protocol. Fox apologized for his lack of discretion on Sunday. Well, sort of. Here’s BBC with the video. Liam Fox: “I accept that mistakes were made, and I should not have allowed the impression of wrongdoing to arise. And I am very sorry for that. However, I do not believe that wrongdoing did occur.” Fox himself admitted it was "unacceptable" for Werritty to use business cards claiming he was Fox’s adviser. But is there more to fess up to moving forward? The Guardian comments further on Fox’s apology. Defense and Security Correspondent for The Guardian, Nick Hopkins says... “He admits that he should have taken ‘much greater care’ over his meetings (plural) with Adam Werritty, and that officials should have been there to record them. This, too, is remarkable. It suggests that there have been numerous occasions when Werritty has been at meetings that may have compromised the secretary of state's position.” Some argue, without clear evidence of wrongdoing, all the videos show is a lapse of judgment, and that nothing inappropriate was going on. An analyst told Sky News the ordeal could even make Fox a better secretary. “You show me one politician who hasn’t, at some stage, made an error with regards to friends or family members. Unfortunately, these things to happen. He’s learned from it and he’s promised to change the scenario at the Ministry of Defense going forward.” But if you ask shadow defense secretary Jim Murphy, actions speak louder than words. The Sun quotes Murphy, saying... "This issue has gone from being embarrassing to being controversial and has now moved way beyond that. This will cause alarm bells to start ringing even more loudly in Downing Street... The Secretary of State's version of events appear to be unravelling and he now has even bigger questions to answer." The Financial Times reports David Cameron will dig into the preliminary report findings of the defense secretary’s professional links with Werritty on Monday. Transcript by Newsy.
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