Reuters and Sky report that the Ministry of Defence have decided to waive the rules for the 15 sailors and marines held by Iran for 13 days to allow them to sell their stories to the media,and would be able to keep the money they receive.
Serving personnel are forbidden from entering into financial agreements with media organisations and this rule was was being relaxed because of "exceptional" circumstances.
A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman explained : "In exceptional circumstances such as the awarding of a Victoria Cross or events such as those in recent days, permission can be granted by commanding officers and the Ministry of Defence.
"That's what has happened here."The ministry led by leaden footed, grey haired, and grey faced Scots solicitor, Des Browne decided to grant the 15 permission due to the huge media interest. A ministry spokeswoman is quoted .... "These are considered to be exceptional circumstances."
So far Rentagob Colonel Bob Stewart, a former commander of British peacekeeping forces in Bosnia,said on BBC TV "It's just unprecedented," saying that Iran's seizure of the 15 was "hardly one of the most glorious annals of royal naval history."
The BBC also were using a sound bite from another Scot, Craig Murray , on BBC World who described the decision the basis of a curious incentive scheme to encourage capture.
Nick Harvey, LibDem defence ..er ... spokesman , said the decision would "raise eyebrows".
There will no doubt be a succession of ex - military blow hards sounding off in the Sunday television studios..meanwhile Lord Patel is negotiating to speak to the pilot and crew of the Missing Lynx to find out why (as the senior officer of the Boarding Party and star of Sky TV, Capt Air revealed in the Press Conference) they were called back to their mother ship leaving the boarding party without armed aerial cover and area surveillance.
According to reports in the the Sunday Times and the Sunday Telegraph, Leading Seaman Faye Turney has now sold her story to ITV1's Tonight with Trevor McDonald and a newspaper for a sum in excess of £100,000.
The Sunday Times also reports that the Marines had decided to pool their money, giving 10% to their service benevolent fund, while the sailors were expected to keep theirs individually.
They also say the decision was to ensure that the release of information could be handled in a "controlled way", with the help and support of MoD advisers.... just in case anyone blurts out the truth. No doubt every word will require prior checking with the Ministry.It's fairly certain that clearance will happen rather quicker than Craig Murray's for his "Murder In Samarkand" (order now in paperback) - which curiously was published without full formal clearance.