The UK’s Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham this week ordered the Department for International Development (DfID) to disclose audit reports of accounts into which British grant money was transferred and allegedly used to pay salaries to convicted Palestinian terrorists.
Welcoming the order, Mr Crabb said: “The Information Commissioner in the last two days has ruled that the British Government has to produce the audit trails, has to open the books. We strongly welcome that, that’s clearly something that MPs are going to be pursuing and we’ll be pursuing when we get back to Parliament in September”.
He underlined: “But once and for all, we need to clear up this issue, shore up confidence in the British aid budget, and really make sure that UK tax payers’ money is supporting peace and reconciliation and genuine humanitarian needs in the Palestinian Territories, not supporting terrorism”.
Mr Crabb spoke about CFI’s efforts over the years to campaign on this issue: “This is an issue that that British Members of Parliament and supporters of Conservative Friends of Israel have tried for years to uncover, to really get the Government to come clean about whether this money is actually being used indirectly or directly to support Palestinian terrorists”.
Speaking to i24NEWS he said: “The last thing that British citizens want to see in their daily newspapers is reports of aid money being abused to support”. He added: “The UK Government now has to come clean, show us the audit trails, explain how that money is being used, and if it is being abused and going into the hands of terrorists, it needs to put a stop to it”.
The decision, signed on Friday by Jonathan Slee, senior case officer for the Information Commissioner’s Office, overturns a 2018 refusal by both the DFID and its internal reviewer to disclose these reports, following a Freedom of Information request made by UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) last year.