Gemma Doyle MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Minister, has written to Gerald Howarth urging him to come clean over his meeting with Adam Werritty. The full text of the letter is below:
Gerald Howarth MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Security Strategy
Ministry of Defence
19 October 2011
Following the revelation in the Cabinet Secretary’s report into the conduct of Liam Fox, released yesterday, that you “met Mr Werritty twice at social events and one official meeting at the suggestion of Dr Fox”, it would be helpful if you could provide greater detail on the nature of the official meeting referred to.
In light of the controversy surrounding the role of Mr Werritty, his privileged access to the MoD and his clear interests in the defence sector, the public will want guarantees that Mr Werritty has never had any influence over Government defence policy. Such guarantees cannot be given unless the full details of your meeting with him are made public.
You will appreciate that in light of recent events, an official meeting with the Minister in charge of Defence Exports is of clear public concern, and I would therefore urge you to provide details on what was discussed, when, where the meeting took place and whether any civil servants were, or should have, been present.
This meeting is of concern in light of the Government’s failure to publish a full list of Ministers and senior Government staff who have met with Mr Werritty. Such obfuscation is not consistent with the Prime Minister’s statement in the foreword of the Ministerial Code, which states that the Government must be “transparent about what we do and how we do it. Determined to act in the national interest, above improper influence”.
There are major questions which still need to be answered as to the nature, scope and purpose of Liam Fox and Adam Werritty’s connections and activities and unfortunately it would appear that your involvement is one such unresolved issue. I would urge you to act in accordance with the sentiment of the Ministerial Code and be open about the nature of this meeting in order to allay public concern.
In light of the public concern in this matter I am releasing this letter to the press.
I look forward to your reply.
Gemma Doyle MP