Ministers' row over soldier goes on
Philip Hammond has reignited the row over the imprisonment of an SAS soldier, accusing lawyers of being “tremendously pompous”.
In what was seen as a veiled dig at Dominic Grieve, the Defence Secretary made his criticism a day after his plea for a review of the case of Sgt Danny Nightingale was publicly rejected by the Attorney General.
Appearing on the BBC's Daily Politics alongside Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry, Mr Hammond said:
“Emily’s a lawyer and is sounding exactly like a lawyer, and they do get tremendously pompous about protecting the integrity of the legal system."
Mr Hammond also admitted he had not expected a public response from the Mr Grieve after the “huge public interest”, as well as concerns within the armed forces, had prompted him to ask him to look again at whether the public interest test had been applied properly.
Mr Grieve replied that it would be “inappropriate” for him to interfere in the case.
Number 10 yesterday appeared to back Mr Grieve, saying due process had to be followed.
Sgt Nightingale has this afternoon launched an appeal against an 18 month sentence for possessing a pistol received as a “war gift”.