Peter Hoskin

Fox on a knife edge

Fox on a knife edge
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Another deluge of awkward news stories for Liam Fox this morning, with almost every paper providing new details for our consideration. The Observer has video footage and emails which suggest that Adam Werritty was indeed a close participant in the Defence Secretary's meetings with foreign dignitaries and businessmen. The Sunday Telegraph quotes Fox as saying that "I have absolutely no fear of complete transparency in these matters," but adds a warning from Whitehall sources that he "could be gone within days". And, perhaps most concerning of all, a senior MoD type tells the Independent on Sunday that "[Werritty] appears to have been involved in arms contracts all over the place".

The story is now taking on a dangerous, two-tone complexion for Fox. There are the questions about his judgment, of course; the very fact that Werritty was afforded such proximity to matters political and military. But, increasingly, there are questions about his integrity too. Some of the revelations in today's papers appear, at the very least, to undermine the denials that Fox has issued in the past few days. And while we ought to bear in mind that old adage about innocence before guilt, such niceties won't restrain Labour. Both Jim Murphy and Harriet Harman have plastered themselves across the airwaves this morning, upping the pressure on the Defence Secretary.

So far as we know, David Cameron has "full confidence" in Fox. But there's an important caveat: full confidence "while the facts are still being established". The Cabinet Secretary's report on the matter will hit the PM's desk tomorrow, and with it some of the facts. One way or another, you sense, this Fox's future will be determined then.