Dr Fox remains silent as supporters rally round
RESIDENTS and authority figures in North Somerset have given their support to MP Dr Liam Fox after he resigned as Defence Secretary on Friday.
Friends of Dr Fox said he remained upbeat despite the past week’s revelations and many residents have praised the work he has carried out as North Somerset MP since he was first elected in 1992.
Dr Fox handed a letter of resignation to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, on Friday following a week of revelations regarding his working relationship with close friend, Adam Werritty.
A report by the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O’Donnell, into Dr Fox’s actions was seen by the Prime Minister yesterday (Tues) and said Dr Fox had broken the Ministerial Code through his dealings with Mr Werritty.
It also revealed Dr Fox had been warned about the risks of associating with Mr Werritty, however, it also concluded the MP had not gained financially from the relationship.
The row erupted when it was revealed Mr Werritty had been allowed frequent access to Ministry of Defence buildings, had accompanied Dr Fox on numerous foreign trips and had been with the former Defence Secretary during meetings in which sensitive issues were discussed.
Mr Werritty had also been handing out business cards claiming to be Dr Fox’s adviser, a position he did not formally hold, and this week, it was also revealed Dr Fox had made a request to multi-millionaire private equity tycoon, Jon Moulton, for money to be donated to Pargav – a not-for-profit company set up by Mr Werritty.
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In his resignation letter, Dr Fox said he had ‘mistakenly allowed the distinction between his personal interest and government activities to become blurred’.
He said: “I have also repeatedly said the national interest must always come before personal interest. I now have to hold myself to my own standard.”
Dr Fox has now been replaced by former Transport Secretary Philip Hammond and, despite the huge amount of press coverage Dr Fox has attracted in the past week, he reportedly remains positive.
North Somerset Conservative councillor Felicity Baker said: “He and his wife are absolutely fine and they are both upbeat.
“There’s been very little substance surrounding what has been discussed.
“I’m quite happy to say he has been a very successful Member of Parliament for North Somerset.”
North Somerset residents have also given their backing to their MP.
Mary Moore, one of Dr Fox’s Tickenham neighbours, said: “He is a very nice person who has done North Somerset very proud over the years.”
Carol Hockedy, another neighbour, said: “He is an excellent MP. He will turn out and support people’s ventures and he is very approachable. I think we could have done an awful lot worse.”
Ron Bebbington from Nailsea said: “I’m not sure what to make of his friendships – as long as the truth comes out I see no reason why not to back him. He is a good MP.”
Fergus Hall also from Nailsea said: “I’m extremely disappointed he has been hounded out. Government should be transparent but the press always think they can do it better.”
On Thursday, the North Somerset Conservative Association said it continued to fully support Dr Fox and said he continued to ‘serve his constituency well’. The association was expected to release another statement later this week.
* Dr Fox was contacted for a comment but the Times received no reply.