MP calls on the Prime Minister to end the witch hunt of veterans

Henry Bellingham MP for North West Norfolk has recently submitted a letter to the Prime Minister, alongside 14 other MPs and Lords, calling on the Government to end the witch hunt against veterans.

Commenting on the matter Henry said: “Personally, I think it is absurd and grossly unfair that former British soldiers should be questioned by Police over their alleged involvement in events that occurred almost half a century ago.  As the founder of the All Party Support Group for Veterans I have for some time now been campaigning on behalf of veterans on this issue alongside a number of other MPs. This has partly come about as a result of discussions I have had with veterans in North West Norfolk, who are quite rightly shocked and appalled that a number of Northern Ireland veterans are being pursued and questioned about allegations that took place over 40 years ago.”

Henry went onto say: “The current situation is not only incredibly disheartening but also a dreadful scar on the Ministry of Defence and the Government and a fundamental betrayal of the Military Covenant. These young servicemen and women put their lives on the line working alongside the Police and other security forces in Northern Ireland between 1969-2001 they went there to maintain law and order, and time and again were put at extreme risk in incredibly tense and challenging circumstances. They showed remarkable restraint and only opened fire when either their lives were put at risk, or in circumstances of extreme provocation.”

“It is therefore only right that the Government takes action and puts in place a comprehensive and just plan to find a solution to this situation. I am therefore calling on the Prime Minister to take clear and decisive action on this most important matter”

In addition to submitting a letter to the Prime Minister Henry was able to ask during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday 24th October “Does the Prime Minister agree when veterans have already been investigated by both military and civilian authorities, they should never be hounded and pursued unless there is overwhelming new evidence.”

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s response Henry said: “I was most encouraged by the Prime Minister’s response and I am utterly delighted that the pressure myself and other MPs are putting on the Government is starting to bear fruit.”

The full exchange between Henry and the Prime Minister can be viewed via the following link:

https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2018-10-24/debates/33C297D5-BF19-4837-B54B-213D5E089243/Engagements#contribution-A57D84F5-CDEE-4FC2-8A4E-6188FBF1971E