UK probes ex-brass who boasted of political access

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Associated Press

Posted on October 14, 2012 at 3:33 AM

Updated Sunday, Oct 14 at 5:02 AM

LONDON (AP) — Britain's defense ministry says it is investigating whether retired senior officers broke any rules after they were recorded by undercover journalists as appearing to offer to lobby the government on behalf of defense companies.

The Sunday Times said officers, including former head of the army Gen. Richard Dannatt and former defense procurement chief Lt. Gen. Richard Applegate, had boasted about their access to ministers and senior officials.

The officers deny wrongdoing, and the newspaper did not suggest they had broken any laws. Retired personnel are allowed to work for the private sector two years after leaving the military.

Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said the revelations were "deeply damaging to the individuals," but he denied retired officers had any influence on decisions about procurement.

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