Telegraph’s MPs’ expenses mole was an angry soldier
And a senior general quits army over unhappiness at the Government’s attitude to the forces
The bad relations between the Government and the Army have resurfaced with two newspaper revelations today - first, that a senior general is quitting, supposedly because of his unhappiness at the treatment of the forces, and second, that the mole who leaked the MPs' expenses documents to the Daily Telegraph earlier this year was a serviceman on leave, angry about inadequate equipment.
Although a Ministry of Defence spokesman insisted last night that Major General Andrew Mackay (pictured above) is standing down for personal reasons, the Daily Mail reports army sources saying his departure comes after repeated clashes with ministers over strategy and resources for the Afghan campaign.
Mackay, who was awarded the CBE during his service on the frontline in Afghanistan's Helmand province, will take early retirement next month.
The story behind the leak of the MP's expenses document is contained in a book about the affair, No Expenses Spared, by two staffers at the Daily Telegraph.
The book claims that servicemen on leave between tours were used to provide security at the offices where parliamentary staff were going through all the MPs' expenses claims.
One of the servicemen was so angered by the MPs' lavish claims that he decided to leak the material. It led to one of the biggest scoops in recent British journalism, with several MPs eventually forced to stand down.
The leaker told the Daily Telegraph: "It's not easy to watch footage on the television news of a coffin draped in a Union Jack and then come in to work the next day and see on your computer screen what MPs are taking for themselves."
The stark contrast between conditions he and his fellow soldiers had to endure, whether back at camp or on the frontline, and what he saw as the easy lives of MPs, paid for by the taxpayer, "helped tip the balance in the decision over whether I should or should not leak the expenses data". ·
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