Sir Mike Penning calls on the Government to protect veterans who served in Northern Ireland against vexatious claims against them.
It is welcome that the military covenant will be in full force in Northern Ireland—something that we struggled to do when I was a Minister of State. Will the Secretary of State come out a little more forcefully and let us know exactly what will happen with our veterans—the people, like me, who had no choice whether they served on Operation Banner—and how we will protect them from vexatious claims against them, which are destroying their lives?
First, I pay tribute to the UK service women and men who took part in Operation Banner for the work they did, the dedication they showed, and the commitment—them and their families. Yesterday, the Prime Minister was absolutely clear that we cannot accept the unfair or vexatious pursuit of our veterans when there is no new evidence. We will bring forward legislation, but that will be this Government’s focus as we develop legislation for this agreement and for the armed forces more generally.