Declassified UK

Posted: 1st May 2024


April 2024

Hi all,

John McEvoy here. It’s been another long month of Israeli savagery, armed and backed by the UK government.

April began with the Israeli Air Force carrying out airstrikes on a convoy of aid workers, killing three Britons. The incident provoked more outrage across the British media than Israel’s killing of over 30,000 Palestinians, and the UK government came under serious pressure to end arms sales to Israel.

This pressure was clearly ignored. Just two days after the attack, the Foreign Office formally ICC is reportedly gearing up to issue arrest warrants for Benjamin Netanyahu and senior Israeli officials.

It’s now more important than ever to increase the pressure.

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This month, we continued to report on British complicity in the Gaza genocide.

Declassified’s chief investigator Matt Kennard exposed how the UK government has imposed a blackout on all information about Israeli military planes in Britain, despite the government previously admitting that nine Israeli Air Force planes had landed in the UK in the four months after 7 October. With an arrest warrant on the horizon for Netanyahu, the blackout may be designed to protect UK ministers from prosecution.

Our director Mark Curtis took a critical look at the “2030 roadmap for UK-Israel bilateral relations”, which was signed by the Foreign Office and the Israeli government in March 2023 but was virtually ignored across the UK media. He found how many aspects of the roadmap are currently being implemented by Britain through its support for Israel’s war on Gaza.

I went through the British Lords’ register of interests, finding that 13 members of Britain’s unelected upper chamber work for, or profit from, arms firms linked to Israel. That includes Labour Lord John Hutton, who began working for a Newcastle-based arms firm just days after it was taken over by Israeli state-owned weapons giant Rafael.


Britain’s global footprint

We also published a series of articles looking at the impact of British militarism, corporations, and aid agencies around the world.

Journalist Molly Hall wrote about Omar Faraj, a Kenyan man who was shot by a CIA-trained and MI6-linked paramilitary team in 2012. Following investigations by Declassified and Muslims for Human Rights, Faraj’s family was awarded around £40,000 in compensation.

Andy Rowell, a journalist working with the Tobacco Control Research Group at the University of Bath, examined how the UK government has consistently failed to rein in the activities of Britain’s biggest tobacco company, British American Tobacco (BAT). This is despite serious allegations of fraud and corruption being lodged against the company over recent decades.

And Matt Benson, a former British aid worker and civil servant with the Department for International Development, wrote about how UK aid programmes are funding organisations accused of sexual abuse and exploitation, such as the World Health Organisation.


Declassified files

We also published various reports from the recently declassified files at the Public Records Office.

Declassified’s chief reporter Phil Miller revealed for the first time Britain’s direct involvement in a NATO raid that killed a Montenegrin civilian in 1999. Phil further showed how, since 1999, the Royal Air Force has bombed eight separate countries or territories – Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen.

Journalist Patrick O’Reilly exposed Britain’s covert propaganda campaign over Kosovo in 1999, showing how Tony Blair’s government planted material in media outlets to convince the public that the bombing of Yugoslavia was “a just cause”.

I went back to the 1960s, exploring how the Foreign Office suppressed a scandal surroundings its covert funding of Encounter magazine – a jewel in the crown of the cultural Cold War.


Matt also wrote a series of articles this month from Northern Ireland, where Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard explained how Ireland is the closest it has been to reunification since partition, with many blaming Brexit for the historic shifts in opinion.

And the conditions for reunification are ripe, Matt showed, with the number of British soldiers stationed in the region having dropped by 82% since the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998.

Matt also went through the declassified files to reveal how, in 1983, the Irish government was ready to accept Northern Ireland as part of the UK in return for participation of Irish security forces in operations north of the border.

Interview Series

Phil’s also been doing lots of work over on our YouTube channel, where we’re publishing new interviews and special reports every week. Do please subscribe to our YouTube channel if you haven’t already.

This month, Phil looked into the five times that Britain banned arms exports to Israel in the past – but not now. He also reported from Kosovo, where tank shells containing depleted uranium – now being sent to Ukraine – are linked to rising cancer rates, as well as from the High Court in London, where the UK government was challenged over arms sales to Israel.

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All the best,


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