Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Kevan Jones Issues Non-Denial Denial

Guido and a few newspapers have been carrying a story that someone inside the Government is trying to smear General Sir Richard Dannatt, seemingly in revenge for his highlighting of poor troop conditions and equipment problems. Guido has put the blame squarely on Kevan Jones - Brown lickspittle and Minister for Veterans.

The BBC are now reporting that Jones has issued a denial, saying it is "a silly season story", and that:

"General Dannatt and I have worked very closely on a number of personnel related issues, because we both care deeply about service men and women.

"I look forward to continuing our working relationship with Gen Dannatt, both now as Chief of the General Staff and beyond into his retirement."

Except that's not really a denial. If he wanted to deny it he would say something about it not being 'true', or it being a 'lie'. The way his statement has been worded does not actually indicate that what has been said is false - simply that Jones considers the story silly.

Perhaps the real treat of the BBC article though is this section:

"But the BBC has established that Labour peer Lord Foulkes has submitted parliamentary questions about Gen Dannatt's expenses which he wants the MoD to answer during the summer recess.

In particular, he wants information on how often the general has used a helicopter for travel within the UK."

This effectively confirms that someone in the Government is actively trying to dig up dirt on Dannatt. And it makes Jones's denial look even weaker - which is certainly saying something.

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