`UK Police may probe Werritty for possible fraud`
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Last Updated: Sunday, October 16, 2011, 20:48
London: London Police are considering investigating Adam Werritty, the close friend of former defence secretary Liam Fox, for possible fraud, media reports said on Sunday.

Labour MP John Mann has asked the police to probe allegations Werritty used business cards falsely claiming he was an adviser to Fox.

Fox had resigned on Friday after a week of damaging headlines over his working relationship with Werritty, his former flatmate and best man.

A City of London Police spokesman confirmed they had received an allegation of fraud.

"Officers from the force's economic crime directorate will consider the matter and establish whether or not it is appropriate to launch an investigation," the BBC quoted a police spokesman as saying.

Reports said Werritty had met Fox 22 times at the Ministry of Defence and joined him on 18 overseas trips since he came to office last year - despite having no official role. Werritty was present at meetings Fox had with military figures, diplomats and defence contractors.

Meanwhile, Fox's conduct is also being investigated by Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell.

His report is due to be published on Tuesday, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said, adding that Prime Minister David Cameron would then consider what action to take, in particular over the role of lobbyists.

Hague also rejected suggestions that Fox and Werritty may have been independently trying to create foreign policy.

"The idea that it's possible to run a completely separate policy by one minister is a fanciful idea," he said.

Asked about fresh, unconfirmed allegations relating to Werritty dealing with Iranian exiles and discussing the overthrow of the Ahmadinejad regime, Hague said that, in his experience, Fox had always co-ordinated with him and the Foreign Office.

"If I asked him not to go to Sri Lanka, then he didn't go. Or if I asked him when he went to convey messages of the government, messages from me then he conveyed those messages."

"One adviser or non-adviser, whatever he may have been to one minister, isn't able to run a totally different policy from the rest of the government. And I think people can at least be reassured about that."

Meanwhile, The Sunday Telegraph reported that some of the rich company donors were furious at being drawn into the row and had complained they were misled about the use of funds.


First Published: Sunday, October 16, 2011, 20:48

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