Ministry of Defence compensation payouts reached £25m last year

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) paid out more than £25m in compensation to members of the Armed Forces last year, it has been revealed.

A total of £26.1m was paid out to 621 service personnel in 2005/6, according to the Metro today.

Claimants ranged from veterans who took part in chemical warfare experiments in the 1950s to those injured in the current-day Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Three homosexuals who were wrongly dismissed from the Forces received a total of £52,000 that year.

Shadow defence minister Mark Harper said: “The MoD must make sure it does not become seen as a soft touch.”

Meanwhile, defence secretary Des Browne said the MoD was reviewing its position on service personnel selling their stories, in the wake of the 15 Royal Navy personnel being released from Iran. Leading Seaman Faye Turney spoke about her ordeal on Tonight With Trevor McDonald on Sunday night.

It was then announced that service personnel would no longer be able to sell their stories – but Browne insisted a review of this policy was under way.

“I want to be sure those charged with these difficult decisions have clear guidance for the future,” he said.

“Until that time, no further service personnel will be allowed to talk to the media about their experiences in return for payment.”

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