Johnny Mercer comment piece in The Times

I was moved by Johnny Mercer’s heartfelt comment piece on Afghanistan in The Sunday Times. The former Veterans Minister talks about how our “shameful exit” from Afghanistan has been a “catastrophe”. He pays tribute to the “service families and veterans at home”, while saying that he “cannot believe what we have done” to the Afghan…

Addressing the Legacy of Northern Ireland’s Past

The UK government has issued a paper to Parliament – Addressing the Legacy of Northern Ireland’s Past. Having visited the beautiful city of Belfast earlier in the year and toured the fabulous, award-winning Titanic Museum, it’s still hard to forget the city is renowned for a different reason. Taking a tour of Belfast, incredibly it…

Hilary Meredith recognised for her “fantastic service” to the Royal British Legion with Membership Centenary Award

Hilary Meredith has been recognised for her “fantastic service” to the Royal British Legion (RBL) with a prestigious Membership Centenary Award. As part of its Centenary year celebrations, the RBL launched a Rewards and Recognition Scheme recognising those who have contributed, above and beyond, to the Legion’s work and values. Naming Hilary as “one of…

MoD Gold Award for University of Chester

The University of Chester has been awarded the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award. The Employer Recognition Scheme encourages employers to support defence and inspire other organisations to do the same. The scheme encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed…

Plan to end all NI Troubles prosecutions confirmed

The government has confirmed it intends to bring forward legislation to ban all prosecutions related to the Troubles. Boris Johnson said the proposals to address the legacy of the past will allow Northern Ireland to “draw a line under the Troubles”. NI Secretary Brandon Lewis told Parliament it was a decision not taken lightly. But…

Dennis Hutchings – let down by the MoD

Former veterans minister Johnny Mercer will challenge the UK Government on behalf of Troubles soldiers claiming pledges to protect veterans have been broken.The MP accused his government of a “complete betrayal” of veterans, the Daily Mail has reported.The Plymouth Moor View MP and former army captain has lodged a witness statement in support of Dennis…

Paras acquitted after Northern Ireland trial collapses

Two former paratroopers accused of the murder of an Official IRA man in 1972 have been formally acquitted after their trial collapsed. Joe McCann, 24, was shot in disputed circumstances in Joy Street in the Markets area of Belfast in April 1972. Soldiers A and C, both in their 70s, had pleaded not guilty. The…

Parallels between wronged postmasters and army veterans

There are worrying parallels between the Post Office workers wrongly accused of theft, including postmaster Martin Griffiths who killed himself aged 59 after being driven to financial and emotional ruin as a result of the Horizon scandal, and those wrongly accused by the Iraq Historic Allegations Team. Wouldn’t you think that common sense would prevail?…

Female veterans and mental health

Female military veterans are struggling to access mental health support due to the stigma around seeking help, new research from Anglia Ruskin University has found. The University’s research flies in the face of the government’s Overseas Operations Bill and the 6-year longstop it imposes on civil claims. Despite the MoD’s insistence that it “fully supports…

Overseas Operations Bill – latest update

The Overseas Operations Bill will introduce an absolute six-year time limit on civil actions after consideration of Commons amendments in the House of Lords yesterday. Throughout the passage of the Bill, one of the most controversial aspects has been restrictions on time limits for serving or retired personnel to bring actions for personal injury or…

Shameful Northern Ireland prosecutions start today

Soldiers A and C, now in their early 70s, are due to stand trial today accused of the murder of Official IRA commander Joe McCann in Belfast in 1972. The former Parachute Regiment soldiers are the first British servicemen to be prosecuted over the killing of an active member of the IRA, and the first…

Shameful prosecution of our veterans starts today

Ex veterans minister Johnny Mercer will be in Belfast today to support two ex-soldiers being prosecuted for killing an IRA commander. Soldiers A and C, now in their early 70s, are due to stand trial accused of the murder of Official IRA commander Joe McCann in Belfast in 1972. The former Parachute Regiment soldiers are…

Brian Wood’s story in Danny Boy will be essential viewing

A new trailer for factual drama Danny Boy has been released. A first look at the BBC single drama follows the real-life events of human rights lawyer Phil Shiner’s [Toby Jones] pursuit of British soldiers falsely accused of war crimes. Shiner and his firm Public Interest Lawyers made thousands of false claims involving the British…

Overseas Operations Bill – Commons rejects House of Lords longstop amendment

The House of Commons has voted against the amendment by the House of Lords to exclude service veterans from the six-year limitation on civil actions against the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in the Overseas Operations Bill. “The six-year longstop gives the MoD the power to manipulate the claims process and deny British troops justice in…

Overseas Operations Bill – Government defeated in House of Lords

The Government has been defeated in the House of Lords over key aspects of the Overseas Operations Bill. An amendment to the Overseas Operations Bill supported by Lord Stirrup passed by 300 to 225 last night, rejecting the proposed six-year time limit on civil claims being brought by current and former service personnel against the…

House of Lords makes significant changes to Overseas Operations Bill

The Government has been defeated in the House of Lords over key aspects of the Overseas Operations Bill. An amendment to the Overseas Operations Bill supported by Lord Stirrup passed by 300 to 225, rejecting the proposed six-year time limit on civil claims being brought by current and former service personnel against the MoD. Peers…

Peers table amendments to Overseas Operations Bill

Peers will make a late bid today to change legislation affecting military veterans’ rights to bring civil claims for injury suffered in service. The Overseas Operations Bill reaches its third reading in the House of Lords this afternoon. Throughout the passage of the bill, one of the most controversial aspects has been restrictions on time…