THERESA May doubled down on her refusal to change the law to protect Northern Ireland veterans — despite both men vying to replace her backing The Sun’s Veterans Pledge.
Downing Street defended her decision to personally block proposals for an amnesty for Northern Ireland veterans.
It defies The Sun’s campaign to end unfair prosecutions of troops who served in Northern Ireland, which has now been backed by both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt.
A spokesman for the PM warned her successor that dealing with the legacy of the Troubles must be done with care because the issue is “complex and very emotive”.
The three-point plan commits them to bringing in a new law to protect Northern Ireland vets from vexatious historical investigations, an independent veterans department to coordinate help across Whitehall and a new Armed Forces Covenant to ensure vets and their families never face disadvantages because of their service.
Asked why the PM had so far refused to back a change in the law to protect Northern Ireland veterans, a spokesman said: “Obviously this is something that does need to be addressed.
“We have been doing that sensitively, it’s obviously a complex and very emotive issue and you’ll know that the Northern Ireland Office last week published a summary of consultation responses.
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“The PM’s view is it’s really important to get that right and that’s the approach we’ve taken.”
A leaked memo in May revealed that the PM had personally ruled out the idea of a statute of limitations on historic prosecution of military personnel who served during the Troubles.
The memo – dated March 2018 – also warned that veterans should be offered “equal, other than preferential treatment” to other groups including former terrorists.
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