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Liam Fox dismisses newspaper smears as the "rufty-tufty" of politics

By Tim Montgomerie

In noting the manner of Liam Fox's successful defence of the MoD budget I predicted that his enemies would strike against him. I suggested it might happen within months. It only took hours.

In today's Mail on Sunday (halfway down this page) Dr Fox is accused of having some sort of drink problem by "senior Tory sources". There is apparently concern at "his ‘partying’ lifestyle".

DrinkingHabitsAnother source alleges that "he is more interested in hanging out with friends in the US talking about bombing Iran".

Fox Liam October 2010 Dr Fox was asked about the smears on BBC1's Politics Show:

“Whenever you’re in a tough process like that that we’ve had in the last few weeks, you always make a few enemies. And you can expect them to behave in the way that they have on this occasion. Anonymously. All sorts of – the fact that I’m a sort neo-con planning to bomb Iran from clubbing round London. It doesn’t really add to the political debate does it? Nor does it, in my view, actually raise the standard of journalism in Britain."

"It’s a rufty-tufty world." he continued, "and you have to live with that in politics.”

When a government is cutting as deeply as this Coalition government some sort of tension between ministers and their teams is inevitable. It is nonetheless regrettable that the tensions have become quite so ugly and public. IDS also was on the end of some unpleasant briefings when he and the Treasury clashed earlier in the summer over welfare reform.


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