Weak Cameron will struggle to fire Fox

Liam Fox is a threat to David Cameron, vulnerable, damaging to his government and bringing politics into disrepute - but the PM may be too weak to get rid of him.

From a prime ministerial point of view, the correct call on the Fox-Werritty scandal seems clear: It’s time to send the defence secretary on his way.

Either wrongdoing has been committed – in this case that an unauthorised personal contact, seemingly through friendship, had a high level of access into Ministry of Defence business, in addition to an expenses scandal – or it looks so bad that the government will continue be seriously damaged by Fox’s presence around the cabinet table.


Even as seriously, Werritty’s career in serial lobbying outfits that were not exactly great money-spinners but appear to have mirrored Fox’s ministerial path raises concerns of  ‘taxis for hire’ political behaviour. However, numerous right-wing commentators have written this morning that Cameron is just too weak to get rid of Fox.

As Paul Goodman puts it on Conservative Home this morning:  

“The most pressing reason for Cameron wanting to keep his Defence Secretary aboard is not the desire for a quiet life, but a fear of the future. As we know from the depature of Fox’s heroine, Lady Thatcher, stab-in-the-back myths can have potency and resonance. 

“If the prime minister were to lose him quickly, he would not only have yet another senior right-winger loose on the backbenches but risk the emergence of exactly such a story – of a left-of-Tory-centre leader wanting to lose a right-of-Tory-centre rival.”

Meanwhile, Peter McKay in this morning’s Daily Mail writes:

“The defence secretary was a candidate in a leadership election won by moderate Cameron. He’s a token Thatcherite in a Cabinet of fence-sitters. He’d be sensitive to any interference from No 10.

“As a diehard Atlanticist, Fox also keeps close to the Americans, who might not actually choose our defence secretaries, but know how to get rid of them when required. Cameron wouldn’t want them thinking he was hassling their friend unnecessarily.”

Even Benedict Brogan, the coalition’s emmisary to Fleet Street, alludes to the prime minister’s problem thus:

“He and Dave will never be bosom mates, but Dr Fox serves a useful purpose as one of the few keepers of the Thatcherite flame around the Cabinet table.”

Fox is a threat to Cameron, vulnerable, damaging to his government and bringing politics into disrepute – but the prime minister may just be too weak to get rid of him.

See also:

Fox admits doubling of nuclear price-tagKate Hudson, May 19th 2011

Why is Fox “bigging up” the threat posed by Iran?Frank Spring, March 1st 2011

Coalition sacks brave troops rather than risk anger of defence contractorsMarcus Roberts, September 13th 2010

Fox’s Sri Lankan jolly under scrutinyElliott Fox, March 23rd 2010

Questions Fox must answer over close links to Sri Lankan “dictator”Elliott Fox, February 18th 2010

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36 Responses to “Weak Cameron will struggle to fire Fox”

  1. Roger McKenzie

    RT @leftfootfwd: Weak Cameron will struggle to fire Fox: http://t.co/3Q9R9dX6 writes @DanielElton

  2. Chloe Greene

    Weak Cameron will struggle to fire Fox: http://t.co/jO1QFoQw writes @DanielElton

  3. Political Planet

    Weak Cameron will struggle to fire Fox: Liam Fox is a threat to David Cameron, vulnerable, damaging to his gover… http://t.co/BeFNH15H

  4. Mark Ferguson

    Weak, Weak, Weak RT @leftfootfwd: Weak Cameron will struggle to fire Fox: http://t.co/ERvRMFPn writes @DanielElton

  5. Tony Burke

    RT @leftfootfwd: Weak Cameron will struggle to fire Fox http://t.co/7rlp78pf

  6. sue turner

    Weak Cameron will struggle to fire Fox: http://t.co/jO1QFoQw writes @DanielElton

  7. Danielle Lowe

    Weak Cameron will struggle to fire Fox: http://t.co/jO1QFoQw writes @DanielElton

  8. Stuart Brady

    “@leftfootfwd: Weak Cameron will struggle to fire Fox: http://t.co/KpCzRbfm ." decent analysis;strugglin to sack fox=seriously weak

  9. Brian Moylan

    RT @leftfootfwd: Weak Cameron will struggle to fire Fox: http://t.co/Oc3Cr0xi writes @DanielElton #ukpolitics #Fox

  10. Steve Jones

    Weak Cameron will struggle to fire Fox: http://t.co/jO1QFoQw writes @DanielElton

  11. Michael

    Weak Cameron will struggle to fire Fox l Left Foot Forward – http://t.co/dFRKCIWW

  12. sunny hundal

    Weak, Weak, Weak RT @leftfootfwd: Weak Cameron will struggle to fire Fox: http://t.co/ERvRMFPn writes @DanielElton

  13. Sam hussain

    Weak Cameron will struggle to fire Fox l Left Foot Forward – http://t.co/dFRKCIWW

  14. Alex Braithwaite

    RT @leftfootfwd: Weak Cameron will struggle to fire Fox http://t.co/N0pYkt6B

  15. Dave Manning

    Weak, Weak, Weak RT @leftfootfwd: Weak Cameron will struggle to fire Fox: http://t.co/ERvRMFPn writes @DanielElton

  16. w.m o'mara

    Weak, Weak, Weak RT @leftfootfwd: Weak Cameron will struggle to fire Fox: http://t.co/ERvRMFPn writes @DanielElton

  17. Alex Burrett

    RT @leftfootfwd: Weak Cameron will struggle to fire Fox http://t.co/GZUH7SqG

  18. Jules Mackay

    Weak, Weak, Weak RT @leftfootfwd: Weak Cameron will struggle to fire Fox: http://t.co/ERvRMFPn writes @DanielElton

  19. treborc

    Seems I remember Labour getting into worse states with Ministers refusing to come home from holidays when our lads died in battles, skiing was more important, then sneaking off for holidays on Oligarch yachts.

    It’s the green house again and throwing stones.

  20. Kevin leonard

    Not only should fox be removed from office but he should also be removed from the party. I would even go so far as to say he should be removed from Parliament as an example to the rest of the parasites. Not going to happen though as they all band together and look after each other no matter how bad they have been.

  21. Grayling dragged into Fox/Werritty scandal – are Osborne, Gove and Hague next? | Left Foot Forward

    […] also: • Weak Cameron will struggle to fire Fox – Daniel Elton, October 10th […]

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

    […] Weak Cameron will struggle to fire Fox – Daniel Elton, October 10th […]

  23. Andrew Little

    weak, weak, weak: Why Cameron is struggling to fire Fox: http://t.co/gwzG550b

  24. Rosie

    weak, weak, weak: Why Cameron is struggling to fire Fox: http://t.co/gwzG550b

  25. Jonathon Blakeley

    weak, weak, weak: Why Cameron is struggling to fire Fox: http://t.co/gwzG550b

  26. Pete

    @leftfootfwd So much for the "leadership" Cameron was banging in about in his Conference speech – weak indeed http://t.co/OtKlVpR0

  27. Blair Supporter

    Hey, a Blair reference! #whereswaldo RT @leftfootfwd: weak, weak, weak: Why Cameron is struggling to fire Fox: http://t.co/h4MShgjC

  28. Geoffrey Pearson

    weak, weak, weak: Why Cameron is struggling to fire Fox: http://t.co/gwzG550b

  29. David Gillon

    Possibly most disturbing in this analysis of the Fox-Farrago is the idea the cabinet are actually _moderate_ Tories. http://t.co/LTSiYHRk

  30. Sam Barnett-Cormack

    Possibly most disturbing in this analysis of the Fox-Farrago is the idea the cabinet are actually _moderate_ Tories. http://t.co/LTSiYHRk

  31. Shamik Das

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

  32. Sam Barnett-Cormack

    I think Cameron is actually trying to look strong by not firing Fox.

  33. E Azicate

    weak, weak, weak: Why Cameron is struggling to fire Fox: http://t.co/gwzG550b

  34. Fox resigns, sparking puns from all sides | Left Foot Forward

    […] Fox has certainly been greatly weakened already, and the Friday timing of the resignation hints at more to come in the Sunday papers – but the belief that a strong right-winger on the backbenches would be a danger for Cameron is a pervasive one within the right-wing blogs, as Daniel Elton reported for us on Tuesday. […]

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

    […] There is more on Fox’s resignation on Left Foot Forward here, and we’ve got more on the Fox/Werritty scandal, as it developed this week, here, here, here and here. […]

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

    […] Weak Cameron will struggle to fire Fox – Daniel Elton, October 10th […]

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