The shamed far-left lawyer Phil Shiner is before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal for his role in the vexatious claims against British soldiers who served in Iraq. An old CND comrade of Jeremy Corbyn, Shiner’s firm Public Interest Lawyers has already been closed down in disgrace and now Shiner faces 24 charges of his own. He has today admitted 18 of those charges, including that he acted recklessly and without integrity. The Law Society Gazette reports:
“Shiner admitted encouraging and authorising unsolicited direct approaches to potential clients arising out of the Battle of Danny Boy in southern Iraq in 2004. He also admitted authorising, procuring and approving payment of prohibited referral fees in September 2007.”
Often celebrated by the Guardian and the Indy, not to mention many in the Labour Party, Shiner made a career out of undermining British values and causes through the courts in the name of human rights. He has now been exposed as an ambulance chaser of the lowest form and it is inevitable he will be struck off. Justice…
“I now apologise sincerely on behalf of my party for the disastrous decision to go to war in Iraq in March 2003.”
He says the ICC need the power to prosecute those responsible…
An emotional Blair faces the music.
Earlier the father of a British soldier killed in Iraq told Blair to look down the camera and tell families he did not mislead them:
“I can look not just the families, but the nation in the eye and say I did not mislead this country. I made the decision in good faith.”
The headlines will be about Blair, but worth noting that Chilcot says Jack Straw failed in his responsibility as Foreign Secretary to prepare post-war planning in Iraq:
“It was Mr Straw’s responsibility as foreign secretary to give due consideration to the range of options available to the UK… These included making UK participation in military action conditional on a satisfactory post-conflict plan… Mr Straw did not do so in January 2003… Nor did he… between January and March”
On March 8 2002 Straw demanded to know why a Downing Street paper on WMD did not amplify the threat from Iraq:
“Good, but should not Iraq be FIRST and also have more text? The paper has to show why there is an EXCEPTIONAL threat from Iraq. It does not quite do this yet”.
Chilcot then explains how Straw postponed publication of a paper specifically about Iraq because it wouldn’t convince the public of the threat from Saddam:
“On 18 March, Mr Straw decided that a paper on Iraq should be issued before one addressing other countries of concern. On 22 March, Mr Straw was advised that the evidence would not convince public opinion that there was an imminent threat from Iraq. Publication was postponed.”
Bad couple of weeks for the Straws…