Defence Secretary Liam Fox resigns

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By a Newsnet reporter

The UK’s Defence Secretary Liam Fox has announced his resignation.  The news follows revelations surrounding his close friend Adam Werritty.

Mr Fox informed UK Prime Minister David Cameron by phone of his intention to resign before presenting Number 10 with his resignation letter.

In his resignation letter, Mr Fox said he had “mistakenly allowed the distinction between my personal interest and my government activities to become blurred”.

Mr Fox added: “The consequences of this have become clearer in recent days”.

Mr Fox went on to say: “I am very sorry for this.  I have also repeatedly said that the national interest must always come before personal interest.”

“I now have to hold myself to my own standard. I have therefore decided, with great sadness, to resign from my post as secretary of state for defence.”

The Tory Minister was being investigated over claims he had broken the Ministerial code following allegations about his relationship with former flatmate Adam Werritty.

Mr Werritty, who is a business lobbyist, had accompanied the Defence Secretary on 18 foreign trips despite having no official role or clearance.  As further revelations emerged it became clear that the East Kilbride born MP’s position was becoming untenable.

Commenting on the resignation, SNP Westminster leader and Defence spokesperson Angus Robertson MP said:

The daily revelations and headlines had not only become a distraction for Liam Fox, but made his position as Defence Secretary unsustainable. His decision to resign is the right one, but many questions about this affair still need to be answered.

“It is also crucial, given the difficult operations that our forces are engaged in internationally, that a new Secretary of State is in place and focused on the job as quickly as possible.”

Downing Street has announced that Mr Fox’s replacement is Philip Hammond.