Intimidated by the Ministry of Defence – I’ve been there too

It has been revealed that the Conservative MP presiding over a parliamentary inquiry into the treatment of Iraq war veterans has received texts in the middle of the night from Government officials demanding he be less critical of ministers.
Johnny Mercer, a former Army captain, told The Telegraph in an interview: “The texts have been critical of my approach. They have been from civilians in the Ministry of Defence saying what I am doing is not helpful to the Government.”
I admire the bravery and moral drive of Mr Mercer. I was aware when I first met him that he was under pressure to drop this investigation. He carefully reviewed evidence and statements to make sure of their accuracy before he took the decision to go ahead.

There is a clear injustice here with our service men and women being left hung out to dry with no help from the MoD or civil servants who sent them into war zones ill equipped and wrongly advised.

I too have felt the wrath of the MoD after Gulf War 1 when I campaigned hard for the rights of those who returned desperately ill after a barrage of injections and chemicals.

I was asked to Whitehall for a “friendly chat” but was yelled at for 2 hours and accused of being a threat to national security, despite the cocktail of inoculations and drugs being all over the internet. I was told I was not allowed to ever write to the Prime Minister and made to sign undertakings.

I have never served in the military – I’m not that brave – and while it was a frightening and intimidating experience, I remain determined to stand up for what is right.

Hilary Meredith