Disgraced lawyer Phil Shiner was struck off last week in a case which made national news headlines.
I’ve spoken at length to the broadcast and print media over the last couple of days and, having had time to reflect, here are my thoughts:
The public needs to have confidence in lawyers and our legal system. Shiner has brought shame on the whole profession. We need to rebuild trust.
There needs to be full disclosure of the MoD’s financial relationship with Shiner and his failed firm, 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.
The Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) is totally flawed. It’s credibility has gone. It needs to be disbanded. MP Johnny Mercer should be applauded for his tireless work here.
And finally, let’s remember the real victims in all of this – our brave servicemen and women, many of whom have been pursued by IHAT, their lives ruined. Now more than ever, the MoD needs to stand behind our troops with a framework of support. Never again must they take the greatest army in the world for granted.