The arms company BAE Systems will be charged with corruption after years of allegations and controversy. The Serious Fraud Office has asked the attorney-general to initiate prosecution on charges of multimillion pound bribery.
Potentially the biggest corporate case in British legal history, concerning the persistent corruption allegations against arms giant BAE Systems, is being treated rather lightly by some sections of the media.
The Conservatives' shadow Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, is facing strong criticism for suggesting that a Tory government would increase financial and political support for arms exports despite the party's commitment to spending cuts in other areas.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, has drawn criticism for making comments supportive of the arms industry. He suggested on BBC television that Britain should be proud of being “particularly good at manufacturing tanks”.
Two members of the Catholic Worker movement, including a priest, have been arrested at the London arms fair. They poured red paint over an entrance sign before kneeling in prayer beneath a banner asking God to forgive arms dealers.
London’s arms fair has opened this morning to a wave of protest and criticism. Protestors have demonstrated both outside the fair and at the offices of UKTI, the government unit through which the arms fair is subsidised.
Campaigners against next month's arms fair in London have announced that faith groups will hold a united silent vigil on the eve of the event. Members of several faith communities from London and beyond are expected to participate.
Claims about the economic benefits of the arms industry have been grossly exaggerated, according to evidence highlighted by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT). They are challenging the argument that the industry is good for British jobs.