Today’s Defence-related news includes coverage around the prosecution of Northern Ireland veterans, after 150 Conservative MPs and peers wrote to the Prime Minister encouraging her to halt all legal action.
Northern Ireland veterans
Following yesterday’s Daily Express front page, there is follow-up reporting in the Times, which notes that the Government is currently considering 16,000 views received as part of a recent consultation into the matter. The Sun picks up on the letter which was delivered by MPs yesterday, while a column in the Daily Telegraph criticises the ongoing prosecution of veterans. The story is also covered in the Daily Mail and the Daily Star.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
We are indebted to those who served with great courage and distinction to bring about peace and security in Northern Ireland.
That is why I don’t want to see elderly veterans having to face repeated investigations decades after the events in question. The Northern Ireland Office recently closed a consultation on legacy cases like this and will report soon.
The Ministry of Defence has put in place a comprehensive package of support, including legal representation to any individual accused of an offence arising from their service on operations. A new team has also been created to consider the concerns of veterans and the wider public in order to find appropriate solutions.
The Daily Mirror reports that retired Second World War cruiser HMS Belfast will today be used to show off the Royal Navy’s military prowess to the Dutch royal family, during their state visit. The ship will exercise alongside Dutch warship HNLMS Zeeland on the Thames, where gunfire from blank rounds will be heard.