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Britain’s defense minister quit Friday in the face of an influence peddling scandal focused on the role of a close friend who was present on scores of overseas trips despite having no government role.

Defense Secretary Liam Fox became the first Conservative Party lawmaker to quit Britain’s Cabinet since the country’s coalition government was formed following an inconclusive election in May 2010.

Fox became cornered by questions over the policy influence of his 34-year-old friend Adam Werritty, who served as the best man at Fox’s 2005 wedding and with whom he had once shared an apartment. Critics questioned who was funding the younger man’s tours across the globe to join the minister on 18 overseas visits.

Source: David Stringer for the Associated Press.

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