Fox affair: the alleged links to Mossad and US radical right

What the papers continue to say about Liam Fox and Adam Werritty.

David Cameron and his team at Number 10 will have been well aware that the Sunday newspapers have been working up new lines on the Liam Fox-Adam Werritty story all week. But they will have hoped, too, that Fox's Friday departure would have taken some of the impetus out of the affair -- at worst, stories meant for the front page will have been relegated to the inside pages; at best, stories dropped entirely.

No such luck. The Sunday Telegraph, Observer and Independent on Sunday all splash on the story, the latter two papers claiming contact between Werritty and the radical right in the United States and between Werritty and the Israeli security agency Mossad respectively. Here's a taste:

 

Liam Fox resignation exposes Tory links to US radical right (Observer)

Key passage:

At the heart of the complex web linking Fox and his friend Adam Werritty to a raft of businessmen, lobbyists and US neocons is the former defence secretary's defunct charity, Atlantic Bridge, which was set up with the purported aim of "strengthening the special relationship" but is now mired in controversy.

An Observer investigation reveals that many of those who sat on the Anglo-American charity's board and its executive council, or were employed on its staff, were lobbyists or lawyers with connections to the defence industry and energy interests. Others included powerful businessmen with defence investments and representatives of the gambling industry.

 

 

Revealed: Fox's best man and his ties to Iran's opposition (Independent on Sunday)

Key passage:

Mr Werritty, 33, has been debriefed by MI6 about his travels and is so highly regarded by the Israeli intelligence service Mossad - who thought he was Mr Fox's chief of staff - that he was able to arrange meetings at the highest levels of the Israeli government, multiple sources have told The IoS.

Some of this has been alleged already. As Sunny Hundal over at Liberal Conspiracy points out, the former UK ambassador Craig Murray had drawn similar conclusions in a blog post on Thursday.

 

 

 

 

Fox affair: donors' fury over 'lies' (Sunday Telegraph)

Key passage:

One of the donors told The Sunday Telegraph they had been misled over how their money would be spent and had called in lawyers. Another company, whose employee set up Pargav [ the company set up to further Dr Fox's interest in foreign policy] on Mr Werritty's behalf, had instituted a formal investigation by a leading City law firm.

 

All three papers say Adam Werritty and the Foreign Office were variously unavailable for comment as they went to press.

 

Jon Bernstein, former deputy editor of New Statesman, is a digital strategist and editor. He tweets @Jon_Bernstein. 

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I'm a Remain voter who feels optimistic about Brexit - here's why

Take back control is more than just a slogan. 

Most politics geeks have found themselves deliciously sucked into a soap opera over the last few days. It’s fast-paced, personality-based and ripe for speculation. But underneath it all, the deeper, harder questions remain – what does Brexit look like, and how can we make it work?

When news of Leave’s victory broke in the early hours of Friday morning (is it possible that was just a week ago?) I felt like the only Remain voter who had some kind of optimism. Fellow Remainers still reeling from the result berate me for it, but I continue to find two reasons for hope.

First, leaving gives us a chance to build a different type of economy. I don’t wish to belittle the recent economic fallout, but with the right leadership and negotiations, we could use this moment to push for an increase in trade with the Commonwealth and beyond. A fall in the pound will disappoint many, but it could help with a much needed rebalancing of our economy, moving from one predominantly based on financial services in London to manufacturing across the regions. 

Second – and perhaps more importantly – leaving is a chance to rebuild our politics. For too long, millions of people in this country have felt ignored or exploited by those who call themselves democratic leaders. In protest, they have left mainstream parties to join UKIP or the hordes of non-voters. In winning this referendum, they have finally been listened to. Perhaps the pressure cooker of discontent can finally be taken off the boil. Perhaps parties can use this result as a chance to rebuild trust and shake up some of our other institutions that are badly in need of reform. 

This point was really brought home to me by a student in the school where I teach. The morning of the referendum she told me that she didn’t think we’d leave the EU, even if the people voted for it. Her friends agreed, saying it was “weird you have to vote in pencil”. They were scared the people’s voice could so easily be rubbed out. When I saw her the next day, a small part of me was relieved that these students had seen that people can genuinely trump the establishment. 

If you’re not convinced, just imagine the backlash if Remain had won by a point or two. We almost certainly would then have voted in an extremely right-wing government, much the same way that the SNP saw a boost after they lost the independence referendum last year. 

Of course, a positive path for Brexit is far from guaranteed. Any leader that goes back on the vote, or tries to fudge it by saying that open borders are a price worth paying, is going to do worse than plummet in the polls - they are going to undermine our entire democracy. And a whole generation’s trust in politicians is already dangerously low.

But this doesn’t have to be a moment for the right. Good leaders understand that Leave’s “take back control” message was about a genuine concern with our borders. Great leaders will acknowledge that it also reflected a deeper concern about the need for agency. They understand the vote was a rejection of a neoliberal approach to the economy that fails to make space for well-paid work, family and community.

The public voted for decreased pressure on public services and a Britain that would negotiate as hard in India as it would in Germany for trade deals. They voted to end a perceived overcentralisation of power by elites, and create a more democratic Britain that gives more dignity to its people. I might not have believed that leaving the EU was the best way to achieve these things, but I’m on the left because I believe we are best placed to make these desires real.  

The vote to Leave or Remain was a binary decision. But Brexit is not. What type of path we take now depends entirely on the direction we choose, and the perseverance we show along the way.

Rowenna Davis is Labour PPC for Southampton Itchen and a councillor for Peckham