News BlogNational Defense

Liam Fox takes the door, victim of one of his relatives

(BRUSSELS2) British Defense Minister Liam Fox resisted the turmoil for several days. But David Cameron, the Prime Minister, decided to let go given the scale of the potential scandal. This Atlanticist, close to the American neoconservatives, eurosceptic, had to submit his resignation on October 14, carried away by the business dealings of one of his close friends, Adam Werrity who played a rather murky role, halfway between espionage, business and occult diplomacy.

Liam Fox in the foreground. Back left Werrity and Jesme Fox (Minister's wife) (credit/Telegraph)

The secret adviser to the minister

Very close to Liam Fox – he was his best man at his wedding and his roommate – Werrity used his contacts to pursue business interests in several African countries, also in South Sudan and Iraq. However, we do not know to what extent the minister was aware of all or only part of his actions. To the people, Werrity introduced himself as advisor to the minister. And everything could support it. He had met Liam Fox 22 times at the ministry and followed him on 18 trips abroad, according to a preliminary investigation by the British Ministry of Defense. He was present for discussions with the Israeli ambassador, a dinner with the new US commander in Afghanistan and a meeting with defense suppliers in Dubai. He had discussions with representatives of the new Libyan government. He left a business card from the ministry with his interlocutors. Even the Mossad fell for it, thinking that he was the head of Liam Fox's services as they had been seduced by the interpersonal skills of the young man who was quick to organize a dinner with several personalities.

A foreign policy on the fringes of the official

The Cameron government is currently doing everything to downplay the affair and wants to put an end to any idea that the man was pursuing an unofficial foreign policy. But according to The Independant, the man at the center of the scandal is implicated in an "audacious plot to overthrow Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad." He has visited Iran several times and met with Iranian opposition groups in Washington and London in recent years. » He had also been debriefed by Mi6 after his trips – and his information was appreciated by Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service.

A complaint of fraud has been lodged with the London police. And several industrialists who financed Pargav, a think tank officially devoted to security issues – and which in fact paid for Werrity's travel – or the Atlantic Bridge think tank, responsible for consolidating links between the United Kingdom and the USA, are starting caused.

Britain's new defense minister

The British defense minister will be held by a novice in the field. This is Philip Hammond, until now in charge of Transport. Elected to the House in 1997, he was not really interested in defense affairs. Opposition spokesperson for social and health services from 1998 to 2001, industry and commerce from 2001 to 2002, he was shadow minister of local authorities from 2002 to 2005, shadow secretary of state for labor and pensions from 2005 to 2007 then shadow secretary of the Treasury until 2010

Serial resignations in Europe

Clearly, Minister of Defense is a rather exposed position. We are thus witnessing a veritable epidemic of resignations among ministers in office in the EU for very different reasons. In recent months, we have seen the departures of the German Zu Gutenberg due to thesis plagiarism, the Pole Klich paying for the Smolensk air accident, the Cypriot Costas Papacostas after the explosion of a munitions depot. In 2008, the Slovak Frantisek Kasicky resigned after the scandal of the sale of barracks at a questionable price. And in 2006, the Romanian Teodor Atanasiu left his pose after the revelation of the use of intelligence services to spy on the presidential administration.

Read also:

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).