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Hundreds of ex-soldiers took part in a Justice for Northern Ireland Veterans march of Downing Street

An estimated 1,000 British Army veterans have taken part in the march to Downing Street in protest at former soldiers being "subjected to witch hunts" over Northern Ireland's troubled past.

The rally was organised by the group Justice for Northern Ireland Veterans, which arranged for a protest letter to be handed to Theresa May.

Up t0 1,000 veterans - including UUP South Antrim MP Danny Kinahan and DUP Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson - took part in the march on Saturday.

Mr Kinahan tweeted from the crowd: "Veterans..very angry at being treated so badly ..worse than terrorists.. Now all MPs & Lords must take this seriously and end this travesty."

Dennis Hutchings (75) who has been charged with attempted murder over a fatal shooting in 1974, spoke to those gathered and received cheers of support.

“There are a few MPs who have had the guts to highlight the gross abuse and witch hunts of servicemen and women of this country,” said Mr Hutchings, from Cornwall.

“However, the majority of MPs in this and previous governments – and I include those buggers in the Ministry of Defence who have spent millions on inquiries in Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan – have done absolutely bloody nothing for us.”

DPP rubbishes claims of a Troubles 'witch-hunt' against former soldiers 

The protest letter handed in to Downing Street pleads with Prime Minister Theresa May to introduce a statute of limitations to curtail the prosecutions.

“We need a Churchill, not a Chamberlain,” concludes the letter.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire said inquiries were "not working" and backed the "vast majority" of soldiers and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) as having served with "distinction".

The Police Service of Northern Ireland's Legacy Investigation Branch is investigating more than 3,200 killings in the province between 1969 and 2004.

Numerous former soldiers are facing prosecution for killings, including Mr Hutchings who has been charged with the attempted murder of a man with learning difficulties in 1974.

NI Secretary warns of 'disproportionate' probes into Troubles

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