Arms firms call up ‘generals for hire’

TOP-RANKING retired military officers have been secretly filmed boasting about lobbying to win multi-million-pound defence deals for arms firms in breach of official rules.

The “generals for hire” can be exposed after a Sunday Times investigation recorded them offering their contacts with ministers and former colleagues for six-figure sums.

During a three-month investigation into the revolving door between the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and private arms companies:

■ Lieutenant-General Sir John Kiszely, a Falklands war hero and former head of the Defence Academy, confided that he could use his role as president of the Royal British Legion to push his clients’ agenda with the prime minister and other senior figures at Remembrance Day events. He also bragged about lobbying on a multimillion-pound contract that was in official “purdah”.

■ Lieutenant-General Richard Applegate, a former MoD procurement chief, described a secret and successful lobbying campaign in parliament for a £500m military programme on

Insight Published: 14 October 2012

Find this story at 14 October 2012

© Times Newspapers Ltd 2012