Family and friends of campaigning whistleblower Dr. Stephen Frost, who fought for an inquest into the death of Iraq expert Dr. David Kelly, are crowdfunding to help him in his case against the Ministry of Defence (M0D).
In order to fund his David v Goliath struggle, Frost’s allies are crowd sourcing to help counter the hugely well-resourced MoD.
Frost was sacked by text message while on holiday in 2013 after raising what he felt were dispensing discrepancies involving strong painkillers at the surgery where he worked at Weeton Barracks near Blackpool.
He had been contracted to work there from July 2013 until December that year, but was sacked after raising the issue of morphine tablets which were reportedly six times stronger than necessary being dispensed from the pharmacy. The incident occurred two weeks before Frost began the job.
He expressed his concerns to the practice team, then to an internal investigation team and suggested that the issue be reported to police.
After being told by text message that his contract had been terminated, Frost says he was given no explanation as to why.
A judge later allowed Frost to take his case against the MoD to an employment tribunal, though as of 2015 he is still waiting for that to happen. He also claims the circumstances of his sacking left him anxious and depressed.
The MoD initially tried to have the case dropped by claiming Frost had been with an agency, despite the fact he had been working almost exclusively for the military for 20 years.
In a statement for the fundraising drive, Frost’s friend and family said he “took his job as a civilian doctor working for the military very seriously.”
“He found caring for sick and injured military personnel (both British and visiting foreign nationals) immensely rewarding and he made many friends at the various military bases at which he worked.”
They also said “the MoD has access to unlimited public funds with which to fight him.”
Frost has long been a thorn in the MoD’s side by leading the campaign for an inquest into the death of Iraq weapons expert Kelly, who died mysteriously in the woods near his Oxfordshire home in 2003.
Shortly before his death, Kelly, who was part of a UN weapons inspection team in Iraq, had been identified as the BBC whistleblower who claimed Tony Blair’s New Labour government had ‘sexed up’ a dossier which claimed Saddam Hussein could launch weapons of mass destruction against the UK within 45 minutes.
A full inquest, Frost and other doctors have argued, did not take place. The Hutton report into Kelly’s death ruled he had committed suicide.
Commenting on Frost’s plight, Ian Foxley, a former army officer and head of Whistleblowers UK, told the Guardian: “One of the major problems facing any whistleblower is the imbalance in resources between the individual and the organization.
“Inevitably, David is relying on whatever he can lay his hands on while Goliath comes pre-armed and armored with the rest of the Philistines lined up behind him for support.”
“Crowd-funding is probably going to be the only way in which we can find the necessary funds to carry on fighting for justice for whistleblowers,” he added.
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