Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP vs Harvey Boulter

Jan 29, 2014, 06:35 ET from Harvey Boulter, CEO Porton Group

LONDON, January 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --


Statement by Harvey Boulter, CEO Porton Group, following settlement in the High Court January 29 2014


I am very pleased that the libel suit with Dr Fox has been settled.

I can understand Dr Fox believing in the merits of his libel claim after the way that The Hon. Mr Justice Tugendhat in the High Court narrowly interpreted the Sky News website article at issue.

However, that narrow interpretation artificially restricted the matters we could raise in court, meaning that I think we have now gone as far as the law has decided to allow in throwing light on the relationship between Dr Fox and his "adviser" Adam Werritty.

I have always been clear that I would not pay Dr Fox personally in any circumstance but I equally had a preference not to expend further time debating events of 2 years ago unless new light could be shed on the matter.

For this reason I appreciate my insurers funding in full a settlement that negates the need to rehash past events and allows me to stand fast by my principles.  This total settlement, described as damages and costs, will likely just pay a part of Dr Fox claimed costs.

It is clear in my mind that the resignation of Dr Fox in October 2011 provided UK politicians with an opportunity to cleanse and refresh their democratic principles.

In spite of a series of public about turns in 2011, Dr Fox appears even today not to have confronted the genuine issues that led to his resignation.

We would not be here today had Mr Werritty not held himself out to be an officially-appointed adviser to Dr Fox as Secretary of State for Defence when Mr Werritty was actually working outside of the control of the UK Government.   Of course I was not the only person to be duped.

There remain many unanswered questions as to Mr Werritty's role. I do not believe that these are the standards UK voters deserve or should expect from our political representatives.  Ultimately Dr Fox resigned from the Cabinet because his standards were not consistent with those set out in the Ministerial Code.

As background to the case, I would like to say that I believed it to be entirely reasonable that I could engage with the then UK Secretary of State for Defence through his adviser, Mr Werritty.  However, Mr Werritty turned out not to be the person he claimed to be.

Naturally I regret that Dr Fox and I became embroiled in the fanciful allegations advanced on behalf of 3M in the United States.  

It should be noted that I faced a raft of allegations from that law suit filed by 3M in New York.  The allegations were grouped under the banner of 'blackmail', but were wide-ranging in nature.

Among the more serious was an allegation that I threatened, in collusion with Dr Fox, to obliterate 3M's entire UK Government business.

This was nonsense, and I believed Dr Fox could have debunked this.  Ultimately all these US allegations were dismissed before any trial.

In 2011 I stated my belief that the 3M allegations were a publicity stunt targeting me however they ultimately served to expose the unusual relationship between Dr Fox and Mr Werritty, for which I have no regrets.

Contact: Eben Black, Newgate Communications +44-(0)7887-636-914 eben.black@newgatecomms.com

SOURCE Harvey Boulter, CEO Porton Group