Why I am calling for the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) to be shut down

Today I am calling for the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) to be shut down. There has been much reported about Ihat including the bully-boy tactics of investigators posing as detectives with powers of arrest when non-existed. The rights afforded to anyone arrested by the police under PACE have also been completely absent. Then there…

Shame on you Phil Shiner

A lawyer whose firm brought hundreds of claims against British troops for war crimes has admitted he acted without integrity and paid a tout thousands to find him cases. Phil Shiner, from Public Interest Lawyers, wrote a letter confessing some of his actions to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal over his firm’s alleged involvement in false…

Northern Ireland – yet another witch-hunt

There are reports today that a new probe has been launched into all 302 killings by British troops in Northern Ireland during The Troubles. Around 1,000 former servicemen, many now in their 60s and 70s, will have their actions brought under scrutiny in the legal inquiry. The 238 ‘fatal incidents’, which involved the deaths of…

MoD’s request for extra AFCS funds doesn’t bode well for the future

It has been reported that a blunder at the Treasury has forced the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to ask for an extra £438 million from emergency funds to cover payments from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. The error was exposed last week when Mark Lancaster, MoD parliamentary under-secretary, admitted an “inadvertent publishing error” had been…

Defence Secretary to outline new proposals for troops injured in combat

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon will today announce a 12-week consultation on plans to increase awards for servicemen and women injured in combat. This will be a huge relief to soldiers injured in the front line. We have fought long and hard to help soldiers seriously injured or harmed in the battlefield. The MoD quite…

Coroner backs legal aid for Birmingham Six inquests

The families of those killed in the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings should have properly funded legal representation at the new inquests into their deaths, a senior coroner said yesterday. Judge Peter Thornton, QC, who will conduct the hearings into the deaths of 21 people in the IRA bombing of two city centre pubs, said there…

Thrilled and honoured

I was thrilled and honoured to be named as Claimant Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year at 2016 Eclipse Personal Injury Awards last night. The awards, now in their ninth year, took place at the Grange St. Paul’s hotel in London. Organised by Barker Brooks Communications, the publisher of Claims Media, they were attended by…

Jonny Mercer – a talented, passionate and committed MP

I was at the Carlton Club last night for a dinner hosted by Johnny Mercer MP, Chair of the Defence subcommittee looking into support for former and serving personnel subject to judicial processes. Johnny, a former soldier, talked of his journey to become MP for Plymouth, his desire to look after his constituents, his passion…

Military Veterans and their Families wellbeing symposium

I spent yesterday at the University of Chester’s beautiful riverside campus as the guest speaker at the Military Veterans and their Families wellbeing symposium hosted by the Westminster Centre for Research and Innovation in Veterans’ Wellbeing. This was the first symposium and it was well supported by a large audience including the Deans of the…

Broughton House is our new charity

I am delighted we have chosen Broughton House as our official charity for the next twelve months. Based in Salford, Broughton House is the sole independent provider of nursing and residential care for veterans of the armed forces and merchant navy in the North West. Broughton House was formed in 1916 by Colonel Sir William…

Centre for blast injury studies – annual networking event

It was a real privilege for Hilary Meredith and I to once again the Annual Networking event 2016 at the Centre for Blast Injury Studies held at Imperial College London. Blast injury is the most complex of all injuries sustained by military personnel.  A multidisciplinary approach is required to get these injured service men and…

Truth will out

MP Johnny Mercer today asked “what the hell’s going on?” as it emerged that a member of the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) had been sacked for impersonating a police officer. A second similar allegation was also currently under investigation, the defence sub-committee was told. It was also confirmed that one member of the controversial…

Congratulations to Royal British Legion

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has announced that the Covenant Fund will work with Royal British Legion (RBL) and other charities to set up a one-stop service to better support the UK’s Armed Forces veterans community. The £2 million Veterans Gateway programme will help veterans find and access advice and support on a broad range…

Police crackdown on use of mobiles when driving has my full support

Police in England and Wales are conducting a week-long crackdown on motorists who use their mobile phones while driving. The move follows government plans to double fines and points for using a mobile while driving – a move I fully support. Recent court sentences illustrate that in-car mobile phone abuse isn’t a crime committed by…

Croydon Tram Derailment

Five people died and more than 50 others were injured when a tram derailed and overturned in south London this morning. It is difficult to comprehend how this can happen.  Surely there should have been sufficient in built systems to stop something like this happening.  It is understood that the driver has now been arrested …

Why sickness records in resorts do not always match up with claims being pursued

There are reports today that travel association ABTA has met with officials from the Ministry of Justice to discuss gastric illness compensation claims made through UK claims management companies. ABTA states that it has evidence showing that the significant increase in gastric illness claims does not match with recorded sickness levels in resorts. These claims…

Credit to Prince Harry for supporting our troops

Full credit to Prince Harry who has ‘blasted’ an ongoing investigation ‘hounding British soldiers’ over alleged war crime committed during fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.   It is understood the royal has labelled both the Iraq Historic Allegations Team and Afghan War-centric Operation Northmoor a ‘joke’.   He is said to be ‘deeply concerned’ about the ordeal…

Crackdown long overdue

Hundreds of British soldiers who have been falsely accused of wrongdoing in foreign conflicts deserve compensation, the former head of the army has said. Lord Richard Dannatt, writing in The Telegraph, was highly critical of the controversial Iraq Historic Allegations Team, which is investigating almost 1,500 allegations of mistreatment and unlawful killing of Iraqis. He highlighted the case…

Is the Government missing the point?

I welcome news that Prime Minister Theresa May has said she wants to end the “industry” of vexatious claims against the armed forces to demonstrate to soldiers that they have “our full confidence and backing”. It comes amid mounting criticism of the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (Ihat), which was set up to investigate allegations of…