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Military Attachés

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL15171, tabled on 21 April 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the information contained in despatches written by UK defence attachés must be independently verified before submission; if so, whether it is standard practice to ensure that such attachés are briefed to that effect; and if so, what record, if any, they hold of Lieutenant Colonel Gash, being so briefed.

Answered on

29 April 2021

Reports from UK Military attach├ęs and diplomats take a wide variety of forms. Some report events which they have directly observed; some report the views or assertions of others; some focus on judgements or provide analysis. There is no blanket requirement for information to be independently verified before submission, which in many situations will not be possible. The context of reporting will inform the weight that is attached to it. Reports from our defence attach├ęs, together with many other sources, contribute to the UK government's overall understanding of events overseas.