I could not disagree more with the suggestion that the MOD has been flippant over the investigation of these events. I think nobody would pretend that Operation Northmoor was not slow to get off the ground in the first place. That is already the subject of what the Secretary of State has asked to be reviewed. When the initial service police investigation was completed, a recently retired chief constable and a senior QC were asked to revisit the investigation to check that the processes were sound.
The MOD, at every turn, has wanted to see this done properly because we believe more than anybody else, especially those of us in the Department who have previously served, that nobody in our nation’s armed forces benefits from even the slightest suggestion that there is protection on the basis that they are too special, too brave or too courageous. Our armed forces get their licence to operate around the world from the fact that they are held to the very highest of standards, and everybody in the MOD believes that should be the case.