Share

Johnny Mercer is taking on the Government in a dramatic court intervention on behalf of Northern Ireland veterans.

The axed veterans minister has lodged a witness statement in support of an elderly ex-soldier facing trial over a historical shooting. 

He accuses Boris Johnson of repeatedly lying over a pledge to protect Troubles soldiers and suggests he was misled on the issue during his time in government.

The Tory MP and former Army captain said the broken promises were a ‘complete betrayal’ of ex-servicemen and he felt ’embarrassed’ to have stood by his colleagues for so long.

Mr Mercer, the MP for Plymouth Moor View, cites seven separate occasions when Mr Johnson and his government committed to a law which would protect Northern Ireland veterans from prosecution.

He said the promise, included in the 2019 Conservative manifesto, was ‘clear, unequivocal and devoid of any qualification.’

Johnny Mercer (right) is taking on the Government in a dramatic court intervention on behalf of Northern Ireland veterans. The axed veterans minister has lodged a witness statement in support of elderly ex-soldier Dennis Hutchings, who is facing trial over a historical shooting [File photo]

Johnny Mercer (right) is taking on the Government in a dramatic court intervention on behalf of Northern Ireland veterans. The axed veterans minister has lodged a witness statement in support of elderly ex-soldier Dennis Hutchings, who is facing trial over a historical shooting [File photo]

Johnny Mercer (right) is taking on the Government in a dramatic court intervention on behalf of Northern Ireland veterans. The axed veterans minister has lodged a witness statement in support of elderly ex-soldier Dennis Hutchings, who is facing trial over a historical shooting [File photo]

He added: ‘[It] should be understood (as it was intended to be) as nothing other than a firm promise and not just another general political statement by the government to Northern Ireland veterans.’

The testimony also alleges that Troubles troops are facing discriminatory treatment because they are not included in the Overseas Operations Bill, which offers protection to those who served in the likes of Iraq and Afghanistan, but not to those who served in Northern Ireland.

Mr Mercer’s statement will be used in a Court of Appeal action brought by lawyers acting for former Life Guards soldier Dennis Hutchings. 

The 80-year-old is accused of attempted murder in relation to the death of a man in County Tyrone in 1974.

Mr Hutchings’ claim against Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis alleges that veterans are being discriminated against because the Government has failed to maintain its promise to prevent ‘vexatious’ prosecutions.

The case failed at the High Court earlier this month but Mr Hutchings and his team have appealed with the fresh testimony from Mr Mercer.     

Mercer (right) Boris Johnson of repeatedly lying over a pledge to protect Troubles soldiers and suggests he was misled on the issue during his time in government. Pictured: Mercer speaks at a Respect Our Veterans parade and rally in London in May

Mercer (right) Boris Johnson of repeatedly lying over a pledge to protect Troubles soldiers and suggests he was misled on the issue during his time in government. Pictured: Mercer speaks at a Respect Our Veterans parade and rally in London in May

Mercer (right) Boris Johnson of repeatedly lying over a pledge to protect Troubles soldiers and suggests he was misled on the issue during his time in government. Pictured: Mercer speaks at a Respect Our Veterans parade and rally in London in May

Source: Daily Mail UK

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

WP Radio
WP Radio
OFFLINE LIVE