Defence in the media: 5 April 2018

WAAF plotters pictured at work in the underground Operations Room at HQ Fighter Command, Bentley Priory, in north-west London. 

Today's defence-related news includes reporting of Russia losing a vote for a joint investigation at the OPCW, former General Richard Dannatt's comments on historical investigations into British soldiers and the HCDC report on North Korea.


There's wide spread reporting in BBC, Sky, Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Star, The Herald, The Guardian and The Independent on the OPCW vote yesterday.

A Government Spokesperson said

We have been clear from the very beginning that our world leading experts at Porton Down identified the substance used in Salisbury as Novichok, a military grade nerve agent.

This is only one part of the intelligence picture. As the Prime Minister has set out a in a number of statements to the Commons since 12 March, this includes our knowledge that within the last decade, Russia has investigated ways of delivering nerve agents probably for assassination - and as part of this programme has produced and stockpiled small quantities of Novichoks; Russia's record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations; and our assessment that Russia views former intelligence officers as targets.

It is our assessment that Russia was responsible for this brazen and reckless act and, as the international community agrees, there is no other plausible explanation.

Former Investigations into UK Forces

The Daily Express reports on former General Richard Dannatt's comments into British troops.

An MOD Spokesperson said

It's right that we hold our Armed Forces to the highest standards and we have a legal obligation to investigate allegations of wrong doing.

We deplore false or unfair allegations against our service personnel and when they have been made we've taken action, supplying evidence to have Phil Shiner struck off and closing IHAT.

The High Court has ordered the Iraq Fatalities Investigations, which is a civil process looking into the circumstances of alleged unlawful deaths of Iraqis. It can only take place when criminal proceedings have been ruled out. It is not an investigation into any particular individual.

HCDC report into North Korea

The Daily Record, The Guardian and the Sun cover the HCDC report on the threat from North Korea.

A Government Spokesperson said

North Korea poses a serious threat to international peace and security. No one wants conflict and we're working with international partners in pursuit of a diplomatic resolution. We have a range of resources ready to protect and defend against the many threats we face whether from North Korea or elsewhere.