Fox admits hopes of frontbench return

By staff

Liam Fox has admitted he wants to return to the government – in his first interview since quitting as defence secretary.

Earlier this month he was forced out of the Cabinet after a week of pressure over his relationship with 'adviser' Adam Werritty, which eventually resulted in a critical report from Cabinet secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell finding he had broken the ministerial code.

He has kept a low profile since then but did not waste time in suggesting he was interested in a return to power.

He told BBC Radio Bristol: "I would certainly like to get back to the frontbench. How quickly is another matter and I think for the moment I'll enjoy having a little bit of extra time."

The MP for North Somerset said his time is currently taken up with constituency concerns including flooding, the greenbelt and "pylons issues". He is also spending more time "doing things around the house".

But the possibility that, like former chief secretary to the Treasury David Laws, he has admitted to being keen on returning to frontbench politics so soon has raised eyebrows.

"It is perhaps unsurprising that he has aspirations to return to the front bench," a Downing Street spokesperson said.

"He did good work while he was defence secretary, but he resigned only a few days ago."

Mr Fox used his resignation statement to MPs to hit out at the media, who he claimed had pursued a "vindictive" campaign against him.

He revealed that his 14-year-old nephew had been doorstepped by journalists during the frenzy leading up to his departure.

"That was unacceptable," he added. "I do think that we need to understand that we have to have a free press… but a free press doesn't mean the press can do what they want."