Belfast Telegraph

Veteran returns medal in protest over Troubles investigation, MPs hear

Labour MP Rosie Duffield held up the medal in the Commons.

A military veteran wants his medal handed back to the Prime Minister in protest over investigations against those who served in Northern Ireland, MPs have heard.

Labour’s Rosie Duffield held up a medal from a Canterbury constituent in the Commons during defence questions as she queried the sensitivity of the investigations.

Outrage has been caused by potential legal action against soldiers over events linked to the Troubles.

A Government consultation paper, Addressing the Legacy of Northern Ireland’s Past, was launched in May on how a historic investigation could be carried out.

Ms Duffield told MPs: “My constituent received this service medal, which he has asked me to personally return to the Prime Minister on receipt of a very distressing letter by the Historical Enquiries Team.

“Please can we have every assurance that these investigations, whilst necessary, are being carried out in the most sensitive manner, especially for those veterans who are now suffering dementia and are in their 80s?”

Armed forces minister Mark Lancaster said he had never seen an issue unite MPs across political parties in the way this issue had.

He said: “There are frankly few issues in my 14 years in parliament which I have found the House unify over to such an extent.

“The consultation has recently closed and I can reassure the House – speaking myself as a serviceman – how keen we are to act to address this issue.

“I’m sure that in due course there will be an announcement in the House.”

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