Socialist Worker

A bridge too far - the 'charity' that connects top Tories

Issue No. 2274

Atlantic Bridge, Liam Fox’s now wound-up “charity”, counted top Tories George Osborne, William Hague and Michael Gove among its advisory board.

Margaret Thatcher was its patron.

London mayor Boris Johnson was on the board as well.

It was run by Adam Werritty from Fox’s parliamentary office. Its main activity was organising flights for US and British right wingers while getting charity tax breaks.

Senior Tories had rushed to the aid of Fox, a politician who is on the right of even this government of axemen.

Tory grandee Sir Malcolm Rifkind came to his rescue in parliament on Monday, and praised his “robust and effective leadership”. The 1922 Committee, a group of arch right wing Tories, had set up a meeting for Tuesday to back Fox.

Rifkind sat on the board of Atlantic Bridge.

The links to the cabinet do not end there. Cara Usher-Smith, the director of business development at minister Iain Duncan Smith’s Centre for Social Justice, was a former director of Atlantic Bridge.

David Cameron’s press secretary, Gabby Bertin, admitted last week that she was paid £25,000 by the US drug giant Pfizer when working as the “sole employee” of the charity.

Other senior Tories, notably Michael Ancram and Michael Howard, attended its receptions. Sir John Major gave a keynote speech at one of its US fundraisers.

Its formidable connections to leading Tories are matched to its links to senior members of the US Republican party.

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