Britain will look into claims ex-officers offered to lobby illicitly for arms firms

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 15 October, 2012, 5:04am

Britain's defence ministry is to investigate claims that retired military officers offered to lobby illicitly on behalf of arms firms. It follows a newspaper sting on several high-ranking figures.

The Sunday Times said a three-month investigation had revealed that four men were prepared to breach official rules in helping arms companies access their high-level contacts in exchange for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Military officers may take on private sector work after they leave the service, but are subject to regulations, including a ban on lobbying for two years.

The report said two former top-level officers boasted of lobbying for multimillion-pound arms deals while barred from such work. Another said he would "ignore" the ban.

A fourth man offered to use his role at a military charity to lobby government figures at commemorative events for Britain's war dead.

All four denied any wrongdoing, the Times said.

"We will be looking to see if any of these individuals have broken any rules," said a spokesman for the Ministry of Defence. "It is clear that former chiefs acting in a commercial capacity should not have any privileged access to the MoD and we will be putting in place measures to ensure this."