Liz Truss has given her “full support” to her chief of staff Mark Fullbrook, after revelations that he was questioned by the FBI as a witness over an inquiry into alleged bribery in Puerto Rico.
It was revealed on Sunday that Fullbrook, who ran Truss’ Tory leadership campaign, had been asked to answer questions relating to allegations that London-based businessman Julio Martin Herrera Velutini tried to bribe Puerto Rico’s governor.
Fullbrook’s spokerson has said the senior Number 10 aide is not caught up in the allegations and is only a witness for the Department of Justice (DoJ) and FBI probe.
A Downing Street spokesperson said Fullbrook had the “full support” when asked by a journalist if the PM was “100 per cent” behind him.
Fullbrook did not travel with Truss to New York for the UN General Assembly, but Downing Street said this was normal.
American investigators have alleged that a bribe was paid to the Puerto Rican governor through British-Australian lobbying firm CT Group, where Fullbrook worked as chief global project officer.
It has been alleged that Herrera Velutini paid a bribe to the governor in a bid to get the country’s financial regulator sacked.
A spokesperson for Fullbrook said: “Our client was not involved in the illegal conduct being alleged and is not being investigated in relation to it.
“He is merely a witness to it, and has and is fully cooperating with the relevant US law enforcement authorities. Any allegation that he is unfit to hold the position of chief of staff is wholly untrue.”
The representative stressed that the prime minister’s adviser “had absolutely no knowledge of any alleged bribery or corruption when CT Group contracted to provide services to Julio Herrera Velutini”.