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Newsline: Sacked embassy guard says UAE tried to ‘influence’ UK ministers

The United Arab Emirates tried to “influence” Government ministers to “mislead” the British public about important international affairs, a sacked embassy bodyguard claims. Conservative politicians including Ben Wallace and Gavin Williamson, the current and former defence secretaries, Leo Docherty, the military veterans minister, and Alistair Burt, the former minister for the Middle East, were named as alleged targets of the Gulf state in legal court papers seen by the Telegraph. Lee Hurford, a close protection officer to the former ambassador, Sulaiman Almazroui, at the London embassy, has also claimed the UAE “paid” a company to “monitor” Jeremy Corbyn, the then leader of the opposition. He also alleges the Gulf state attempted to “discredit” Al Jazeera, the 24-hour Middle East news channel, and to “undermine” the Free Princess Latifa Campaign, a group trying to help the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE prime minister, who fled from her family but was seized and brought back to Dubai four years ago. (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/04/23/uae-tried-influence-tory-ministers-mislead-public-sacked-embassy/) The bodyguard’s allegations form part of a defence bundle lawyers prepared after he was accused of conspiring to blackmail the former ambassador.

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