By Tim Montgomerie
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The Times' Michael Savage has tweeted the contents of a statement from Liam Fox:
"I accept that it was a mistake to allow distinctions to be blurred between professional responsibilities and my personal loyalties. I have apologised to the PM & agreed with my Permanent Secretary to put in place new procedures to ensure that this does not happen again."
More as soon as I get it.
5.30pm: Here is the full statement:
"I accept that it was a mistake to allow distinctions to be blurred between my professional responsibilities and my personal loyalties to a friend. I am sorry for this. At no stage did I or my Department provide classified information or briefings to Mr Werritty or assist with his commercial work – let alone benefit personally from this work. Nevertheless, I do accept that given Mr Werritty’s defence related business interests, my frequent contacts with him may have given an impression of wrongdoing, and may also have given third parties the misleading impression that Mr Werritty was an official adviser rather than simply a friend.
I have learned lessons from this experience. I accept that with the benefit of hindsight I should have taken much greater care to ensure that any meetings with Adam Werritty, at which defence and security related issues were raised, were properly attended by officials and recorded – to protect myself and the Government from any suggestion of wrongdoing. With respect to my meeting with Mr Boulter in Dubai in June 2011, I accept that it was wrong to meet with a commercial supplier, without the presence of an official. I have apologised to the Prime Minister and agreed with my Permanent Secretary to put in place new procedures to ensure that this does not happen again. My Permanent Secretary will report her interim findings to the Cabinet Secretary tomorrow. It is important that this process is allowed to run its course. I will answer all questions in the House of Commons."
> Lurcher's earlier Comment piece: There is much innuendo but not much substance in the attacks on Liam Fox