Britain’s Secretary of State for International Trade, who was previously forced to resign over his controversial relationship with Sri Lanka, has reignited his ties with Colombo, holding discussions with Sri Lankan officials at his London office last week.
Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to the UK met with Fox to discuss “the promotion of trade and investment interests” according to an official press release from the embassy.
Dr Fox was forced to resign from his previous post as defence secretary in 2011, after a report into his conduct concluded that he did 'breach the ministerial code' and displayed a 'failure of judgment', as he accepted at least three fully paid trips to Sri Lanka, funded by the former government. He stayed in five-star hotels and had first-class travel funded for himself and Adam Werritty, a self-styled ‘advisor’ and close friend of Liam Fox, who accompanied him on his trips and reportedly discussed arms deals with Colombo.
Several other British parliamentarians have been found to have accepted fully funded trips to Sri Lanka, with the most recent case to come to light being that of DUP MP Ian Paisley.
Paisley was suspended from the British parliament for failing to declare two all-expense paid luxury holidays he had accepted from the Sri Lankan government, and also for violating rules on paid advocacy when he lobbied then prime minister David Cameron against pursuing accountability for human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. The DUP also suspended Paisley from the party.