Article published in The Daily Mail, Tuesday 4 July 2017. © Richard Kemp
Over recent years successive governments, both Labour and Conservative, have indulged in a shameful betrayal of our armed forces.
The very people who risk their lives to protect our country’s interests have been subjected to a relentless campaign of persecution, dressed up as legal investigation into abuses.
Disgracefully, the politicians have not only sanctioned this continual harassment but even encouraged it through vast legal aid subsidies and compensation payments.
Almost all the allegations of maltreatment brought against British troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have turned out to be baseless.
But the reluctance of the Government to combat vigorously this stream of empty charges has created its own cycle of exploitation by ‘tank-chasing’ lawyers and their clients.
In Iraq alone, the Ministry of Defence forked out £20 million to more than 300 claimants to avoid court hearings, even though it spent more than £100 million on legal fees.
This week, a whistleblower who worked for the law firm Leigh Day — at the forefront of pursuing allegations of abuse by British military personnel in Iraq — alleged that many of these settled claims were not merely exaggerated: they were utterly fraudulent.
According to this person, a favourite lawyers’ ruse was to persuade clients to alter their stories about detention, pretending they had been held by the British even if they had been taken by the Americans. (more…)