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Press statement – Johnny Mercer MP & whistleblower anonymity

The Veterans’ Affairs Minister Johnny Mercer has confirmed he is challenging an order to name the source of his claims that members of the SAS unlawfully killed Afghan civilians between 2010 and 2013.


Lord Justice Sir Charles Haddon-Cave who is chairing the Afghan Inquiry has ordered the MP for Plymouth Moor View to hand over the names of his sources or potentially face jail.


Elizabeth Gardiner, Chief Executive of whistleblowing charity Protect, said:

“It is paramount that the identity of these whistleblowers are protected otherwise why would anyone come forward with information in the future? Mr Mercer is right to stand firm and protect his sources.  Armed forces whistleblowers are sitting ducks, with no legal protection for speaking up. They sit outside the law and have no defence or remedy if they are sacked or treated poorly after blowing for the whistle.

As an MP and former Minister Mr Mercer is advocating on behalf of the whistleblowers – it is not clear how knowing their names will change the context of their claims – unless the Inquiry Chair is calling their evidence into question.

Integrity is one of the key principles of public life and whistleblowers – who may fear reprisals for speaking up – should be able to trust MPs to protect them.
Sending the wrong message now will have serious implications for future whistleblowers coming forward.”

Notes to editors:   

For more information, and to arrange an interview, please contact:
Mark Ellis, Head of Commmunications
0203 117 2520 ex. 1038

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