Support is growing for the introduction of a statute of limitations preventing the prosecution of army veterans for historic offences – but there remains a great deal of work to be done.
In his final speech before moving to Brussels to become chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach today told the Policy Exchange he supported a statute of limitations – but feared for the outcome of a review into how ministers deal with the legacy of the Troubles.
I fully agree with Sir Peach and hope the Government takes note of his views. I believe that anything over that a statute of limitations would be a betrayal of our veterans, many of whom have already have had their lives ruined by false accusations and flawed, aggressive investigations. We should support our heroes not hang them out to dry.
It is common knowledge that a Cabinet spilt has opened up over this issue with a number of ministers fearing there are not enough protections for ex-troops who could face fresh investigations. Cross party support is also growing on the backbenches.
I have a number of meetings planned over the next few weeks and will be doing everything in my power to make a statute of limitations a reality and support our veterans.