Military top brass urge Boris Johnson to pass laws to protect ex-Northern Ireland troops from witch hunts

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MILITARY top brass urged Boris Johnson to fast-track laws to protect ex-Northern Ireland troops yesterday – as he unveiled his new “Veterans Ministry”.

Lord West hailed the PM’s decision to honour his pledge to The Sun and introduce dedicated new Office for Veterans Affairs.

Getty – Pool

Top brass urged Boris Johnson to fast-track laws to protect ex-Northern Ireland troops yesterday[/caption]

PA:Press Association

Ex-Army captain turned MP Johnny Mercer will head up the new Office as Veterans Minister[/caption]

But the former Royal Navy Admiral said the “proof of the pudding” would be if the PM’s acts to protect soldiers from historical witch hunts.

He told The Sun: “The Government has failed to deliver on this – if they deliver on it now it would be an immense success.

“The proof of the pudding of this will be if Boris gets this done.”

As revealed by The Sun yesterday, ex-Army captain turned MP Johnny Mercer will head up the new Office as Veterans Minister.

But it will also report into Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Dowden, who attends the PM’s Cabinet.

It means for the first time forces personnel have a dedicated cross-Whitehall champion pushing through real change.

More than 1,300 letters have been sent to veterans of the Troubles in the last six years asking questions about deaths in the conflict.

The PM’s official spokeswoman declined to say when new legislation would be introduced to protect soldiers from historical allegations.


But the spokeswoman said: “The scope of this Office is still being decided but the Prime Minister has made it clear how important it is.

“In terms of Northern Ireland we know the system needs to improve.
The Northern Ireland Office recently published the result of a consultation and we are considering the issues raised there and will come back to that in due course.”

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