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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 February 2008, 17:59 GMT
Harry leak disappoints army chief
Sir Richard Dannatt
Sir Richard Dannatt said Harry had been fully involved in operations
The head of the British Army, Chief of the General Staff Sir Richard Dannatt, has given his reaction to the leaking of the news that Prince Harry has been serving in Afghanistan. He said he was disappointed that the story had been released.

This is the full text of his statement.

I am very disappointed that foreign websites have decided to run this story without consulting us.

This is in stark contrast to the highly responsible attitude that the whole of the UK print and broadcast media, along with a small number of overseas, who have entered into an understanding with us over the coverage of Prince Harry on operations.

It is perfectly possible for Prince Harry to be employed just the same as other Army officers of his rank and experience
Sir Richard Dannatt
Chief of the General Staff

After a lengthy period of discussion between the MoD and the editors of regional, national and international media, the editors took the commendable attitude to restrain their coverage.

I would like to thank them for that and I do appreciate that once the story was in the public domain, they had no choice but to follow suit.

What the last two months have shown is that it is perfectly possible for Prince Harry to be employed just the same as other Army officers of his rank and experience.

His conduct on operations in Afghanistan has been exemplary.

He has been fully involved in operations and has run the same risks as everyone else in his battlegroup.

In common with all of his generation in the Army today, he is a credit to the nation.

In deciding to deploy him to Afghanistan, it was my judgment that with an understanding with the media not to broadcast his whereabouts, the risk in doing was manageable.

Now that the story is in the public domain, the Chief of Defence Staff and I will take advice from the operational commanders about whether his deployment can continue.

I now appeal to the media to restrain from attempting to report Prince Harry's every move and return to our understanding.




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