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Liam Fox: I have turned down Foreign Office job

Former Defence Secretary Liam Fox has revealed that he turned down the offer of a ministerial post in David Cameron's latest reshuffle of his top team.

Writing on his website, Dr Fox said: "I was honoured to be offered a post as Minister of State in the Foreign Office by the Prime Minister. I have turned it down."

Liam Fox said he wanted to stay on the backbenches to say 'what needs to be said' on key issues. Credit: PA

He said he wanted to focus on the issues that affect his North Somerset constituents, which he listed as "the economy, immigration and Europe".

Dr Fox also added that he did not want to "be distracted from what needs to be said on these matters" by taking on a ministerial role.

Read: The likely motives behind the Cabinet reshuffle

NHS 'should not have funding ring-fenced' after 2015

Special protections for NHS funding must end after the next general election in 2015, a leading Conservative backbencher has said.

Former defence secretary Liam Fox said Britain was lagging behind the rest of Europe in key areas like cancer and stroke outcome rates, and claimed the idea that ploughing money into the NHS improves standards had been "tested to destruction".

Liam Fox
There was still "a huge amount of waste" in the NHS, Liam Fox has claimed. Credit: PA Wire

"The increase over the last decade has been phenomenal and yet a lot of our health indicators lag behind other countries, particular things like stroke outcome or a lot of cancer outcomes," Dr Fox told The Times newspaper.

"We've become obsessed with throughput and not outcomes and that has been hugely to the detriment of the patients in our system."

Read: NHS budget slump warning

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MP claimed 3p for 100 metre car journey

Former defence secretary Liam Fox. Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Former defence secretary Liam Fox successfully claimed 3p of taxpayers' cash for a car journey of fewer than 100 metres, expenses documents show.

The Conservative MP made the claim after travelling 0.06 miles, or approximately 96.5 metres, within his North Somerset constituency from a concrete firm to a constituency surgery in Yatton in October 2012.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) notes the claim was paid last December.

Mr Fox also had another 15 claims of under £1 for car travel approved in 2012/13.

Liam Fox urges party to unite against Afriyie

Conservative ex-defence secretary Liam Fox has urged the Tories to unite against the Afriyie amendment which he said was a "gift" to opponents of a referendum.

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Any attempt to amend @jameswhartonmp EU Bill will be a gift to all those who want to deny the British people a vote. Tories must unite! #EU

Fox criticises Obama over US Govt's presence at funeral

by - Political Correspondent

Arch-Thatcherite Dr Liam Fox said he is disappointed that President Obama will have no-one, other than his ambassador, at Baroness Thatcher's funeral.

Dr Liam Fox with Baroness Thatcher at his 50th birthday party in 2011. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

In an interview with me this afternoon, he said: "I think a lot of people will be disappointed and surprised, given the way President Obama had praised Margaret Thatcher, no-one will be there. I find that quite sad."

Earlier, David Cameron's spokesman denied there had been any kind of snub.

He said the fact that two former US Secretaries of State, George Shultz and James Baker, were attending the funeral tomorrow was "testimony to her global stature".

It was also later revealed that ex-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger will be attending the funeral.

Read: Obama said 'America has lost a true friend' after Thatcher's death

Fox to urge scrapping of protected spending

Then Defence Secretary Liam Fox pictured in 2011. Credit: Empics

Senior Conservative Liam Fox is expected to bring Tory austerity divisions to the fore today with a direct call for the Chancellor to drop protected spending for schools, aid and the NHS.

The former Defence Secretary's intervention, which comes less than a fortnight before George Osborne's Budget, echoes concerns raised by many of the party's backbenchers over the way funding has been ring-fenced for three Whitehall departments.

According to The Times, Dr Fox will say: "I believe that in leaving money in people's pockets, economic activity will follow. People will buy houses, invest for their future or just go shopping.

"We should gradually move towards the reduction - or even abolition - of the taxes where the state not only taxes the same money on multiple occasions but discourages the very behaviour that would lead to a more responsible society."

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PM hopes press regulation will reduce use of libel laws

The former Defence Secretary Liam Fox asked the Prime Minister whether he would address the issue of access to justice as well as press regulation.

He said he that anyone should have the ability to use the existing libel and defamation laws and not just the rich.

The Prime Minister said people "should be able to rely on a good regulatory system" to stop abuses happening before they reach court.

'Insufficient evidence' to prosecute Fox adviser

Following an investigation by City of London Police, we have decided that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute Mr Adam Werritty for any alleged offences.

The matters referred to us involved the alleged misuse of Mr Werritty's business cards and of funds donated to his business.

These are matters which have been widely reported. In accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, we have advised City of London Police that there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction.

– Andrew Penhale, Crown Prosecution Service
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