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UK Defense Secretary in Libya, amid media scrutiny

LONDON, Oct 8 (KUNA) -- UK Defence Secretary Dr. Liam Fox departed to Libya last night as allegations over his working relationship with a former flatmate continued to surface back home, it was reported here Saturday.
Dr. Fox met with Jalal Al-Digheily, Defence Minister in the Libyan National Transitional Council at Tripoli airport, but the landmark visit is set to be overshadowed by continuing claims over his dealings with Adam Werritty, commentators said.
More allegations were made last night about Werritty, a close friend of Dr. Fox, who has made 14 visits to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) over 16 months despite not being employed by the Government.
Werritty arranged a meeting in a Dubai hotel, away from officials, with Dr. Fox and a company interested in selling technology to the MoD, The Independent newspaper reported.
And Werritty, best man at Dr. Fox's wedding, ran right-wing charity Atlantic Bridge from inside the Secretary of State's parliamentary office, the Guardian newspaper alleged.
And a second House of Commons business card stating the friend worked for the MP has been uncovered, despite him not being on any official payroll, according to The Times newspaper. Opposition Labour MP Jim Murphy urged Fox to disclose the nature of the business dealings with Werritty and branded it "ridiculous" that Dr Fox had instead launched an internal inquiry into himself.
Murphy told the commercial TV station, Channel 4 News: "We want specific answers to direct questions about just why one individual, who is not on the payroll of the Ministry of Defence or the House of Commons, has such a close working relationship inside the Ministry of Defence." Meanwhile, Ursula Brennan, the Ministry of Defence's permanent secretary, is leading an internal inquiry and the initial findings, which will be made public, will be reported to Fox and the head of the civil service, Sir Gus O'Donnell, on October 21st.
The investigation will "examine the access to departmental premises and information afforded to Werritty, and establish that there has been no breach of security", an MoD statement said. It will also turn the spotlight on the role of officials to check whether the "department acted in accordance with guidance on propriety". Werritty joined the Defence Secretary on an official visit to Sri Lanka, despite previous claims that he had not travelled with him on official visits overseas. The Defence Secretary said he did attend a "private event" with his friend on the island nation after a picture of the pair was published in the Guardian. Werritty has been a controversial figure in government circles.
Despite having no official role he is reported to hand out business cards with a portcullis logo describing himself as "adviser to Liam Fox MP". Fox said: "I understand those cards are no longer used. I have made it very clear to him that it's unacceptable to carry a card saying that he is a personal adviser." (end) he.gta KUNA 081141 Oct 11NNNN