New reports suggest that Boris Johnson will include a pledge to end the prosecution of former soldiers over alleged war crimes in the next Conservative manifesto.
But it’s unclear why anyone should trust Johnson when senior Tories including David Cameron and Theresa have already made and broken this promise five times in the last three years – while the government’s treatment of veterans has been branded “immoral and incompetent”.
“This is unacceptable and no way to treat the people who risk their lives to keep our country safe – it has got to end… this Government will protect them from being hounded by lawyers over claims that are totally without foundation.” (Facebook)
“I am going to make very sure that if this process accelerates in Northern Ireland I will be working with the Northern Ireland Secretary to ensure that this process is properly balanced, proportionate and does not involve very elderly veterans having to recall exactly what happened 40 or 50 years ago.” (Parliament)
“What we’ve seen is a whole industry of lawyers chasing after our troops and trying to bring claims against them, many of which are vexatious claims, and we want to put an end to that.” (BBC)
“I have no doubt that in the very near future we are going to be in a situation where we can put things in place – and this will require legislation to do – but we can start to put the things in place that end this absolute tragedy of British service personnel being chased through the courts.” (Politics Home)
“We will always hold our armed forces and the chain of command to account but I want to ensure our service personnel are not going to be victims of unfounded allegations, as we saw in the case of IHAT (Iraq Historical Allegations Team) or pursued unfairly for events that took place decades ago. This is a personal priority for me.” (Politics Home)
“We need to end unfair trials of people who served their Queen and country when no new evidence has been produced, and when the accusations have already been exhaustively questioned in court. We must protect people against unfair prosecutions. And I will.” (BBC)