15 May 2019
East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson has said that reports of legal protections to be announced by the Defence Secretary may be more focused on Tory leadership ambitions than standing behind veterans.
The DUP MP raised a Point of Order today in the House of Commons on the issue following previous assurances given to him by the Attorney General.
Commenting afterwards Mr Robinson said, “On 31st January in response to a question from me the Attorney General gave a clear commitment that Northern Ireland veterans would not be excluded from any protections to be brought forward. Indeed, he said “No area of the United Kingdom can be left out; plainly that would be wrong”.
Reports of the Defence Secretary’s intention to bring forward some legal protections however specifically exclude Northern Ireland. Given the comments from the Government’s chief legal adviser only a few months ago it would appear these reports may be driven more by leadership ambitions within the Conservative Party and jockeying for position than it does about providing protections for veterans.
Any united stance from the Government on this issue should be brought before the House of Commons first rather than being trailed in the press. DUP MPs will ensure that this issue is pursued and challenged further. Should this be a case that leadership ambitions are taking priority over a coherent plan to end the persecution of veterans then it would be shameful.”