Human Rights Act pledges need careful scrutiny

Press reports today suggest the Conservatives are pledging to end the “unfair trials” of soldiers accused of murders in Northern Ireland by banning inquests from returning verdicts of unlawful killings for deaths during the Troubles. The party is pledging to amend the Human Rights Act to exclude any death in Northern Ireland that took place…

Military psychiatrist says the government is failing in its duty of care to veterans

A leading military psychiatrist has accused the government of failing in its duty of care to veterans. Neil Greenberg, Professor of Defence Mental Health at King’s College London, says former personnel are being left frightened and alone – despite the existence of the Armed Forces Covenant. Professor Greenberg says the promise to give priority health…

Veteran friendly GPs have my full support

It is encouraging to read that an increasing number of GPs are signing up to become ‘veteran friendly’ under a national scheme launched last year to improve medical care and treatment for former members of the armed services. The scheme, called the Military Veteran Aware Accreditation, has been adopted by NHS England and the Royal…

Veterans’ Centre shortlisted for award

I am delighted and proud that the Westminster Centre for Research and Innovation in Veterans’ Wellbeing at the University of Chester, where I am Visiting Professor of Law and Veterans’ Affairs, has been shortlisted for the Military and Civilian Partnership Award at the Health Service Journal Awards 2019. The Westminster Centre for Research and Innovation in…

Veterans’ Office is a giant leap forward

I am delighted Prime Minister, Boris Johnson is to establish Britain’s first dedicated veterans’ office with the aim of stopping the legal witch-hunt against our troops. Conservative MP Johnny Mercer, a former Army officer and frontline soldier, was yesterday appointed veterans minister working across the Cabinet Office and Ministry of Defence. The idea is that…

Proud to play our part in the Veterans’ Pledge

Hilary Meredith Solicitors is proud to have worked with MPs on a new campaign to end a host of ongoing injustices against military veterans. Under the three-part Veterans’ Pledge, which is being supported by The Sun Newspaper, we are urging Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt when they enter No10 to agree to: 1. Create a…

Proud to support Broughton House

I am proud to be supporting Broughton House as a Trustee of the charity. Broughton House was originally founded under the name East Lancashire Home for Sailors and Soldiers in 1916 to care for soldiers and sailors who had been injured during the First World War. As a much-loved institution of Greater Manchester and the…

The shores of Normandy

In the cold grey light of the sixth of June, in the year of forty-four, The Empire Larch sailed out from Poole to join with thousands more. The largest fleet the world had seen, we sailed in close array, And we set our course for Normandy at the dawning of the day. There was not…

MPs debating whether Northern Ireland veterans should be given immunity 

MPs will today debate whether or not veterans who served in Northern Ireland should be given immunity. The Commons debate follows the success of a petition urging the Government to excuse Northern Ireland veterans from historical criminal investigations.  It was signed by more than 146,000 people. Why would you serve in the British Military to…

Johnny Mercer MP – standing for our armed forces

Conservative MP Johnny Mercer says he has withdrawn his support for Theresa May and her government over the historical prosecution of servicemen and women. In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Mercer said it was “regrettable” that he could not continue to support the government. He called on Mrs May to end the “abhorrent…

Soldier B, Daniel Hegarty and why a fair trial is almost impossible

Northern Ireland’s Public Prosecution Service (PPS) has announced that a former soldier is to be prosecuted for the murder of a teenage boy who was shot dead in 1972. The veteran, identified as ‘Soldier B’, will face the charge of murdering 15-year-old Daniel Hegarty. He was shot and killed by a member of an Army…

Funding disparity over legal representation proves inquests are not a level playing field

A huge funding disparity over legal representation at Inquests has been uncovered by a campaign charity. Figures released by the charity Inquest reveal that, in 2017, the Ministry of Justice spent £4.2m on legal representation for the prison and probation service. Families on the other hand received £92,000 through the Legal Aid Agency’s exceptional funding…

International Women’s Day – #BalanceforBetter

This Friday, 8 March, is International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first​ ​IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a…

Why I support the new ID card for armed forces veterans

I fully support the introduction of a new ID card for armed forces veterans, which will help them access specialist support and services. Any personnel who have left the military since December 2018 will automatically be given one of the new ID cards, which will allow them to maintain a tangible link to their career…

Is there a suicide crisis for British veterans?

The BBC is reporting that military charities are not coping with the increased demand for mental health support. Shockingly, campaigners estimate that last year, at least 58 veterans took their own lives. The Ministry of Defence spends £22 million pounds a year on mental health for veterans, while the NHS has dedicated around £6m annually…

Why the nation needs to support the Armed Forces Covenant

I was disappointed to read that less than a quarter of British organisations have heard of the Armed Forces Covenant. According to a new report – Benefit not Burden, commissioned by the Forces in Mind Trust – twenty-four per cent of companies have heard of the Covenant, which is a pledge made by the government…