Grayling dragged into Fox/Werritty scandal – are Osborne, Gove and Hague next?

Employment minister Chris Grayling was dragged down into the increasingly murky depths of the Liam Fox/Adam Werritty scandal today, reports Shamik Das.

Employment minister Chris Grayling was dragged down into the increasingly murky depths of the Liam Fox/Adam Werritty scandal today.

Grilled on the Daily Politics this lunchtime by Jo Coburn and shadow defence minister Kevan Jones over his links to Werritty, Grayling repeatedly avoided answering questions about his role in Atlantic Bridge – an organisation which funds Werritty to the tune of £90,000 a year.

Grayling, who ran Fox’s failed leadership campaign in 2005, was on the advisory council of Atlantic Bridge, alongside George Osborne, Michael Gove, William Hague, and, of course, Dr Fox.

Atlantic Bridge, long under investigation by the Charity Commission, was dissolved last week after criticism by the commission.

When asked to explain his role in Atlantic Bridge, Grayling says:

“I had little involvement in Atlantic Bridge, I was merely one of a number of politicians on its advisory board, but I mean it wasn’t a formal entitity, but look, let’s be clear, Adam was an employee of the Atlantic Bridge, there’s no question about that, the Atlantic Bridge has now been wound up, Adam Werritty is now an independent businessman…”

Upon further probing, Grayling admits:

“Of course I was aware that he was employed by the Atlantic Bridge.”

Adding:

“I’ve had very little dealing with Adam over the years, I’ve probably met him once or twice over five or ten years – when, for example we were running Liam Fox’s leadership campaign he wasn’t in and around the campaign…”

And on the question of whether it was acceptable Werritty met with the Sri Lankan President on behalf of Liam Fox, Grayling slips up big time:

CG: “Well, my understanding is they both went to a lecture given by the Sri Lankan President.”

KJ: “No, not true.”

JC: “No. We’ve got the pictures, and we’ve seen it, the video footage shows. Do you think it’s acceptable?”

CG: “They met him at that event.”

KJ: “He [Werritty] arranged the meeting.”

JC: “Should he arrange, should friends arrange meetings for a defence secretary?”

CG: “Well, Liam of course had a long involvement with Sri Lanka going back to the days when…”

JC: “You’re dodging the questions here, Christopher Grayling…”

He is later quizzed on his hypocrisy regarding breaches of the ministerial code, having himself called for David Blunkett to be censured six years ago – yet failing to demand similar action against his mate.

Listen to Grayling’s grilling (we join it with Coburn asking Jones if he’s happy with the employment minister’s answers):

It is more than two years since Left Foot Forward first reported on the questions surrounding Atlantic Bridge, questions that remain, and threaten to engulf not just the defence secretary, but several of his Cabinet colleagues as well.

See also:

Weak Cameron will struggle to fire FoxDaniel Elton, October 10th 2011

Grayling’s tabloid pandering gone madBen Mitchell, August 29th 2011

Another balls-up by Calamity Chris!Shamik Das, August 12th 2010

Cameron slams Grayling on B&B remarksWill Straw, April 20th 2010

Out of hiding, Calamity Grayling is wrong on drugs & reoffendingClaire French, April 9th 2010

Weak link Grayling: Wrong on the facts, wrong on the statsShamik Das, February 3rd 2010

Gray days for GraylingShamik Das, October 9th 2009

Grayling’s revisionism on Wire comparisonsWill Straw, October 6th 2009

Grayling depicts Wire fiction as factTom Tàbori, August 25th 2009

24 Responses to “Grayling dragged into Fox/Werritty scandal – are Osborne, Gove and Hague next?”

  1. Fox’s sliminess shows how much we need lobbying regulation | Left Foot Forward

    […] also: • Grayling dragged into Fox/Werritty scandal – are Osborne, Gove and Hague next? – Shamik Das, October 10th […]

  2. Jay Nathan

    Now I understand what the conservatives mean when they say 'we are all in this together'. #ConflictOfInterest #fail
    http://t.co/HS0qhX9g

  3. Jules Mackay

    Grayling dragged into the Fox scandal over Atlantic Bridge links reports @ShamikDas http://t.co/vsyTLqy3

  4. Huw Irranca-Davies

    Murkier and murkier: is Grayling the next minister to be pulled into Fox debacle? http://t.co/zDU28Pkv /via @wdjstraw

  5. Paul Sandars

    Murkier and murkier: is Grayling the next minister to be pulled into Fox debacle? http://t.co/zDU28Pkv /via @wdjstraw

  6. notlob

    Murkier and murkier: is Grayling the next minister to be pulled into Fox debacle? http://t.co/zDU28Pkv /via @wdjstraw

  7. Shamik Das

    Grayling dragged into the Fox scandal over Atlantic Bridge links reports @ShamikDas http://t.co/vsyTLqy3

  8. notlob

    Atlantic Bridge long under investigation by the Charity Commission was dissolved last week by the commission.

    http://t.co/1p8aWPGM

  9. notlob

    advisory council of Atlantic Bridge, alongside George Osborne, Michael Gove, William Hague, and, of course, Dr Fox.http://bit.ly/p16fCL

  10. Andy S

    Grayling dragged into the Fox scandal over Atlantic Bridge links reports @ShamikDas http://t.co/vsyTLqy3

  11. Mr. Sensible

    We’ll see where this one goes next…

  12. Alan Cowan

    Grayling dragged into Fox/Werritty scandal – are Osborne, Gove and Hague next? | Left Foot Forward http://t.co/97EyTp6F

  13. kanu_356ducts15-16

    Grayling dragged into Fox/Werritty scandal – are Osborne, Gove and Hague next? http://t.co/chY9nyaY

  14. Rob the crip

    I suspect Labours not saying to much in case somebody looks at them….

  15. kanu_356ducts15-16

    Grayling dragged into Fox/Werritty scandal – are Osborne, Gove and Hague next? http://t.co/chY9nyaY

  16. How long can slippery Fox cling on? | Left Foot Forward

    […] Grayling dragged into Fox/Werritty scandal – are Osborne, Gove and Hague next? – Shamik Das, October 10th […]

  17. kanu_356ducts15-16

    Grayling dragged into Fox/Werritty scandal – are Osborne, Gove and Hague next? http://t.co/chY9nyaY

  18. London IWW

    Grayling dragged into Fox/Werritty scandal – are Osborne, Gove and Hague next? http://t.co/M9EnBdvf | #Corruption

  19. Shamik Das

    And for more on the #Fox #Werritty scandal see http://t.co/Sa0XP6D3 & http://t.co/H7MliGIg & http://t.co/DhbPcPgE #BBCQT

  20. w.m o'mara

    RT @leftfootfwd: Grayling dragged into Fox/Werritty scandal – are Osborne, Gove and Hague next? http://t.co/QKmG43hs More to think about ?

  21. Look Left – Cameron bids Fox ‘thank you and goodbye’ | Left Foot Forward

    […] we’ve got more on the Fox/Werritty scandal, as it developed this week, here, here, here and […]

  22. David Gillon

    Nice to hear Grayling squirm, unfortunately over his linls to Fox-Werritty rather than the fiasco of #WCA http://t.co/WsO85Ogo

  23. Fox/Werritty Sri Lankan jollies come under fresh scrutiny | Left Foot Forward

    […] Grayling dragged into Fox/Werritty scandal – are Osborne, Gove and Hague next? – Shamik Das, October 10th […]

  24. Calamity Grayling misuses the stats (again) | Left Foot Forward

    […] Grayling dragged into Fox/Werritty scandal – are Osborne, Gove and Hague next? 10 Oct […]

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