Today I am calling for full disclosure of the Ministry of Defence’s financial dealings with disgraced lawyer Phil Shiner and failed firm Public Interest Lawyers.
Some of Shiner’s claims led to the £25m, five-year-long Al-Sweady inquiry, which later dismissed the allegations and said they were based on calculated and deliberate lies by Iraqis. Others led to investigations by the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) into British troops. In total, IHAT has received 3390 allegations – and not a single prosecution has resulted.
This morning’s Victoria Derbyshire programme heard how Phil Shiner (who was today struck off as a solicitor) was the “the driving character behind the witch hunts against British troops”. Jonny Mercer MP added that “the MoD gave Phil Shiner the opportunity to abuse the process”.
Now is the time for full disclosure of the MoD’s financial dealings with Phil Shiner and Public Interest Lawyers. We already know that the MoD paid Shiner and his firm taxpayers’ money to bring fraudulent claims against our troops. This scandal goes to the very heart of the MoD and there remain a number of unanswered questions.