UK & World News
British Legion President Quits Over Arms Claims
A former Army officer has resigned as President of the Royal British Legion following allegations of helping firms lobby for arms deals.
Lieutenant General Sir John Kiszely said it would be inappropriate to remain in the post after it emerged that he - and several other - retired military officers were secretly filmed by the Sunday Times.
The deals were potentially worth millions of pounds, and broke Whitehall rules which prohibit former military personnel lobbying for contracts for two years.
The moratorium ensures they cannot become involved in any activity which might be helped by their previous role.
In his resignation letter Sir John stated: "I have made it clear that I have always kept my role of national president completely separate from any business interests, and never used any access gained as president to raise the subject of, or discuss, any business interests whatsoever, let alone to make representations on behalf of clients."
He added: "I have made it equally clear that I have never breached any Government rules related to lobbying.
"But I made exaggerated and foolish claims to the contrary, incompatible with my position in the legion."
Chris Simpkins, Director General of the Royal British Legion, paid tribute to Sir John's work saying: "His example, commitment and dedication to our charitable work on behalf of the armed forces community have been a great help to many and an inspiration to all."
He further added: "[I] am satisfied that no breach of the legion's code of conduct has actually occurred."
Sir John was due to step aside from the role later in December but will now leave early.
The Sunday Times secretly filmed senior generals, including the former head of the Army Lord Dannatt and former defence procurement chief Lieutenant General Richard Applegate.
The Ministry of Defence said it would be investigating whether any of the retired officers broke any rules.