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The Defence Secretary has threatened to 'shut down' the access retired high-ranking officers have to the Ministry of Defence, if it is found they have been ignoring rules against lobbying on behalf of defence contractors.
Philip Hammond's comments follow claims in the Sunday Times that several retired generals boasted of their ability to sidestep the rules. This is a report from our Political Correspondent Alex Forrest.
The Royal British Legion said it had begun a high-level internal investigation into whether Sir John, a decorated Falklands hero, had abused his position with the charity.
Legion Director General Chris Simpkins said:
The Royal British Legion have said that they will refer the claims of lobbying against their President John Kiszley to their Governance Committee for review.
Jim Murphy MP, Labour's Shadow Defence Secretary, responding to reports of lobbying by senior ex-military officers of Ministry of Defence officials, said:
Former Chief of the Defence Staff Lord Stirrup defended his role in the Ministry of Defence lobbying investigation, he told Sky News:
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond says he will look at abuse of access to the MoD by retired officers.
But he added that he is relaxed about his staff meeting officers for dinner and has dismissed their claims of access as 'bravado'.
He told The Andrew Marr Show: "There are many reasons why it is sensible for the MoD to maintain contact with retired officers.
"They are often asked to comment on defence.
"But if they are abusing that access for commercial purposes then we will have to tighten it up or maybe even shut it down.
"That is something we will now look at."
When asked how he felt about his permanent secretary (Jon Thompson) discussing contracts over a dinner meeting, he said: "Knowing my permanent secretary I am completely relaxed about it because he would be totally immune to that kind of approach.
"What we have seen before in sting operations is people rather bigging up their capabilities and what they can do. I hear a lot of bravado here."
Philip Hammond has responded to a newspaper sting by The Sunday Times.
He told the The Andrew Marr Show: "I think the revelations are deeply damaging to the individuals concerned and their reputations.
"There is no way that retired officers influence the way in which military equipment is procured.
"I am satisfied that the system we have is completely robust.
"But there is an issue. Firstly over whether any rules have been broken. Clearly at least one, possibly more of the individuals named in The Sunday Times piece were still under the terms of the two year restriction that applies after they have left the service.
"Secondly we have to look at the level of access that we give retired officers to the MoD and to serving officers. "
Responding to claims in the Sunday Times that he was prepared to lobby on behalf of a military company, Lord Dannatt sent an email to the paper before publication saying;
A video from The Sunday Times revealed a former army boss talking about "targeting" the MoD's permanent secretary Jon Thompson.
He told journalist's who were working undercover: "Philip Hammond, the defence secretary, will make the decision largely on the advice of Jon Thompson, the permanent secretary, who he has just appointed. He was previously the finance director, who I am rather targeting to talk to."
He said they went to school together and would be both attending a dinner.
"I've asked the organisers 'can you put me next to him'.
He later added: "It's going back to what I was saying before - it's about having a team that is layered, because at various layers you can get greater or lesser access."
Latest ITV News reports
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond would shut down access to ministers and officials if retired officers are shown to have been lobbying.