Dr Liam Fox - Standards and Privileges Committee Contents


5.  Extracts from evidence provided by Mr John Mann MP, 14 October 2011

Quotations from media articles

The Telegraph: 8 October 2011

"The Daily Telegraph has established that Mr Werritty lived rent-free in Dr Fox's taxpayer-funded flat in [London borough], London, in 2002 and 2003."

The Sunday Mirror: 9 October 2011

"But the trip was overshadowed by the row over his relationship with Mr Werritty, 34, who use to live rent-free with Dr Fox at his taxpayer-funded flat."

Daily Record: 9 October 2011

"The trip was overshadowed by the row over his relationship with Werritty, 34, who use to live rent-free with Fox, 50, in his London flat."

Daily Mail: undated

"2002 to 2003—Werritty lived rent-free in Fox's London flat"

Guardian: 7 October 2011

"The Guardian has established that Werritty used Fox's room [number] in the MPs' block at Portcullis House as the official headquarters of a rightwing charity, the Atlantic Bridge, which works in conjunction with a major US business lobby group. The office was provided to Fox at taxpayers' expense while he was in opposition until last year."

Guardian: 5 October 2011

"The Atlantic Bridge, which had already been suspended for promoting Conservative party policies in defiance of regulations, was founded by Fox and run by his close friend Adam Werritty."

Screenshot from company check website

Director: Adam Werritty

Address: London [postcode]

[Text added by Mr Mann below screenshot] "I understand that [postcode] is the postcode of Dr Fox's tax payer funded second home.[73]

Use of Parliamentary Office to run Atlantic Bridge

Breach of Rules

In your letter you ask 'which [rule] you believe Dr Fox may have breached as a result of such an arrangement.'

The Members' Handbook notes that accommodation, including offices and meeting rooms:

"...are provided in order to assist Members in their parliamentary work. They should be used appropriately, in such a way as to ensure that the reputation of the House is not put at risk. They should not be used for party political campaigning or private business activity."[74]

Based in Parliament

In Dr Fox's entry to the Register of Members Interests published in December 2003, he states:

"FOX, Dr. Liam (Woodspring)

4. Sponsorship or financial or material support

A researcher based in my office works exclusively for the Atlantic Bridge, a UK-American think-tank of which I am a founder member. In this role she receives funding from Pfizer Inc. She has no function in any health role. (Registered 13 June 2003)"

The section repeatedly appears, making its final appearance in the register on 11 April 2005. The register printed on 06 November 2005 omits this reference.

The researcher in this instance was not Mr Werritty and can be identified by the Register of Interests of Members Secretaries and Research Assistants4. The version published on 12 December 2003 states that:
[name][name] Dr LiamFOX I work exclusively for the Atlantic Bridge, a UK-American think-tank of which my sponsor, Dr Liam Fox, is a founder member. In this role I receive funding from Pfizer Inc. I have no function in any health role (Dr Fox is Shadow Secretary of State for Health).
[…]

There are no further entries in the Register of Members Interests or the Register of Interests of Members' Secretaries and Research Assistants relating to Atlantic Bridge.

However, the organisation's website [website address] (now accessible though [website address]) lists its contact address as:

CONTACT

ADDRESSES [sic]    UNITED KINGDOM      UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

      The Atlantic Bridge      The Atlantic Bridge

      Room [number], Portcullis House    c/o [name]

      House of Commons      [address]

      Westminster

      London

      SW1A 0AA  

      United Kingdom

CONTACTS

Email: [email address]

[..]

There are other references to the Atlantic Bridge being based in Dr Fox's office. For example, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) lists Atlantic Bridge as an exhibitor at its 2008 annual meeting:

The Atlantic Bridge is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization founded by Dr. Liam Fox MP, current British Conservative Shadow Secretary for Defense. The Atlantic Bridge seeks to nurture, strengthen and promote the special partnership that exists between the UK and U.S. by reinvigorating the network of conservative links that underpinned the Thatcher-Reagan relationship of the 1980's.

Booth Number: [number]

[Name] — Director of Operations The Atlantic Bridge

Room [number], Portcullis House

The House of Commons

Westminster, London

SW1A 0AA

Mobile Phone: [telephone number]

Business Phone: [telephone number]

[Email address]

From 2009 [name of Member of Parliament] states on his website:

Received a bottle of whisky (value: £25) for speaking at The Atlantic Bridge.

14 October 2011


73   This was London address 2 [see WE 8] which my inquiries were to show was not the address of Dr Fox's London flat. Back

74   P. 5 House of Commons (April 2011) Members Handbook Back


 
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