MoD rejects calls for probe into journalist deaths

Armed forces minister Adam Ingrams has refused a demand to inquire into the deaths of journalists in war zones where the UK is involved.

The plea for him to act came from Liberal Democrat media spokesman Don Foster.

It follows the controversy over the death of ITN’s Terry Lloyd in Iraq and the ruling by the Oxfordshire coroner Andrew Walker that he had been unlawfully killed by US troops.

Despite passing the file to the Attorney General in October last year, Lloyd’s family is still waiting to hear whether action is to be taken.

In a commons answer to Foster, Ingrams said: ‘Our policy, produced in consultation with editors, press and broadcasting organisations and the British Red Cross, is that the Ministry of Defence will seek to assist appropriate enquiries into the death or injury of a journalist inside a conflict zone as far as we can. We would not normally conduct such inquiries ourselves.”

Foster told Press Gazette that Ingrams’ reply was inconsistent, because the Government had stated that journalists should be guaranteed the protection of international law. ‘It is appalling,’he said.

Foster was also tabling a question to the Attorney General asking when the Crown Prosecution Service would respond to the Terry Lloyd file sent to them by the Oxfordshire Coroner.

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