Israeli officials disclosed secret information on Iran to Adam Werritty because they assumed he was Liam Fox’s official adviser with appropriate security clearance, The Times has claimed (£). Fox’s controversial friend even used the word “we” to talk about the Ministry of Defence.
Werritty reportedly quizzed Israeli officials on potential airstrikes against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s nuclear ambitions, with one asking:
“Why was he allowed to meet with us and hear sensitive security information if he had no official standing? I shared information with him that I would not have otherwise.”
As a “freelancer” Werritty was able to operate outside the constraints of a diplomatic straight-jacket. This was to the keen interest of British intelligence services, who were given to debriefing him on his return from foreign jaunts.
One cannot imagine Israeli officials will be thrilled that the contents of discussions — with someone they assumed to be the Defence Secretary’s close aide and a hawkish “fellow traveller” — may have been passed directly to MI6.
This could yet get even more messy.