Sir John Kiszley quits as president of British Legion
WAR hero Sir John Kiszely has resigned as president of the Royal British Legion following allegations that he misused his position.
The Lieutenant General, who lives in Broadway, handed in his resignation after claims he had promised defence companies he could arrange meetings with top government politicians.
Secret recordings by The Sunday Times showed Sir John offering to use a Remembrance Sunday service to lobby Prime Minister David Cameron and other cabinet members.
Reporters claiming to be weapons manufacturers from South Korea had approached him to help make sales to the UK Government.
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Also targeted by the journalists were Lieutenant General Richard Applegate, Admiral Sir Trevor Soar, who was commander-in-chief of the Royal Navy until earlier this year, and Lord Dannatt, former head of the Army.
The Royal British Legion has launched an investigation into the claims.
But Sir John handed a letter of resignation to the legion's chairman John Farmer yesterday.
In the letter, he said: "I have now decided that it would be inappropriate for me to remain as national president of the legion.
"I have made it clear that I have always kept my role of national president completely separate from any business interests, and never used any access gained as president to raise the subject of, or discuss, any business interests whatsoever, let alone to make representations on behalf of clients.
"And I have made it equally clear that I have never breached any government rules related to lobbying.
"But I made exaggerated and foolish claims to the contrary, incompatible with my position in the legion."
Sir John was due to stand down in December but the handover will now be brought forward.
Chris Simpkins, director general of the Royal British Legion, said: "The legion's work, including Remembrance events, must be kept free of any suggestion that they could be used for commercial or political gain.
"I have discussed the matter with Sir John and consulted with the governance committee of the board of trustees and am satisfied that no breach of the legion's Code of Conduct has actually occurred.
"Sir John's remarks were out of character.
"The Royal British Legion would like to thank Sir John for the tireless execution of his voluntary duties and wish him the best in his future endeavours."
A successor to Sir John as national president, who was identified some weeks ago, will be announced shortly.