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Oct 18, 2011

Former Defence Secretary Fox broke ministerial code

LONDON (Reuters) – Former Defence Secretary Liam Fox broke the ministerial code of conduct over his close friendship with a businessman who falsely claimed to be his official adviser, a government report said on Tuesday.

The report found that Fox, who oversaw British military operations in Libya and Afghanistan before resigning on Friday, broke the rules but did not gain financially from the arrangement.

Oct 14, 2011

UK Defence Secretary quits over “adviser” scandal

LONDON (Reuters) – British Defense Secretary Liam Fox resigned on Friday amid a furor over his friendship with a businessman with defense interests, dealing a blow to Prime Minister David Cameron’s government and casting doubts on efforts to reform the military.

The British media have in the last week been awash with stories about the nature of the relationship between Fox and his former flatmate and best man at his wedding, Adam Werritty, who met frequently with Fox and falsely claimed to be his adviser.

Oct 12, 2011

UK defence minister under pressure over friend

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David Cameron gave qualified backing on Wednesday to his defence secretary, who has come under pressure for giving regular ministry access to a businessman with no official position and no security clearance.

Cameron told parliament that Liam Fox, a former leadership rival from the right wing of the Conservative party, had done a fine job and rejected opposition demands to fire him, but added that he would await an official report on Fox’s conduct.

Oct 12, 2011

Ally defends Defence Secretary Fox over gossip

LONDON (Reuters) – A minister on Wednesday condemned rumour-mongering about the sexuality of Defence Secretary Liam Fox, who is under fire for allowing a male business friend who works in the sector to accompany him on official business trips abroad.

Fox’s future remains in doubt over accusations that he put national security at risk by granting high-level access to former flatmate Adam Werritty, who has no official post within the ministry but presented himself as an adviser to Fox.

Oct 10, 2011

UK PM Cameron backs embattled defence minister Fox

LONDON, Oct 10 (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David
Cameron said on Monday his Defence Secretary Liam Fox made
“serious mistakes” in his dealings with a friend with business
interests in the industry but backed him pending a full report
into his conduct.

Fox’s future had been in doubt over media and political
accusations of risking national security by granting high level
access to his former flatmate Adam Werritty, who has no official
post within the defence ministry but presented himself as an
adviser to Fox.

Sep 21, 2011

Fiscal stimulus not on table – Alexander

BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) – The government is not even discussing a retreat from its aggressive programme of budget austerity, Treasury Minister Danny Alexander said on Wednesday, dismissing reports some ministers are pushing for fiscal stimulus for the economy.

British media reported late on Tuesday that some ministers in the cabinet had raised the prospect of spending an extra 5 billion pounds on infrastructure to boost growth.

Sep 21, 2011

Lib Dems committed to coalition, cuts

BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) – Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg underlined his Liberal Democrats’ commitment to coalition government with the Conservatives and their flagship austerity plan when he closed his party conference on Wednesday.

The state of the flagging economy overshadowed the five-day meeting, quietening restive grassroots delegates and keeping ministers firmly in line behind a four-year programme of spending cuts to eliminate a budget deficit.

Sep 20, 2011

Lib Dems cling to coalition and austerity drive

BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) – Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will underscore his Liberal Democrats’ commitment to coalition government with the Conservatives and their flagship austerity plan when he closes his party conference on Wednesday.

Clegg will list the party’s achievements in government and paint a sunny picture for his party’s future, despite low poll ratings and dire assessments of the flagging economy in a speech to Lib Dem members in Birmingham.

Sep 19, 2011

Britain calculating cost of split with Scotland

BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) – The government is calculating the cost of Scotland splitting from Britain to reinforce its case against nationalist demands for independence, a cabinet minister said on Monday.

Ministers in every government department are examining the implications of a Scottish separation on areas such as defence, welfare payments, and broadcasting, Scottish Secretary Michael Moore told Reuters in an interview.

Sep 19, 2011

UBS shows need for UK bank reform-Cable

BIRMINGHAM, Sept 19 (Reuters) – A $2.3 billion rogue trading
loss at Swiss bank UBS has reinforced the case for reform of
Britain’s banking system and plans to separate their retail and
investment arms must be put in place, Business Secretary Vince
Cable said on Monday.

“At present, banks are offered a one way bet. If they gamble
and win – they fill up the bonus pool. But when they lose, the
taxpayer pays,” he told delegates at his Liberal Democrat
party’s conference in Birmingham, central England.