I surely cannot be the only person who is wondering why Liam Fox is still a cabinet minister.
It has been disclosed that whilst performing his duties as Secretary of State for Defence Liam Fox has been regularly accompanied to important meetings with leaders and officials of foreign powers by a personal friend who has no connection to the government and no right to attend such meetings and who has tried to use his visible closeness to Liam Fox for personal advantage. When asked for an explanation Liam Fox has resorted to evasions expressed in convoluted language. He has also criticised those who have asked questions by accusing them of homophobia of which I see no sign. For the record Liam Fox’s conduct would be every bit as questionable if the friend who had accompanied him to these meetings had been a woman or indeed his wife.
If the executive of any private company or a civil servant were to attend business meetings in the company of a personal friend who had no right or reason to be there this would certainly be the subject of severe disciplinary action. If done to the extent that it has been done by Liam Fox it would almost certainly be seen as gross misconduct justifying immediate dismissal. There is no reason why an exception should be made of Liam Fox or why his position as a cabinet minister or as a senior Conservative politician should give him some sort of immunity. Indeed the fact that he is a cabinet minister and that the subject of the meetings he attends because of the nature of his job touch on questions of national security mean that he ought to be held to a higher standard not a lesser. If he cannot see this for himself then the Prime Minister should not indulge him further but should dismiss him from the government.