THERESA May doubled down on her refusal to change the law to protect Northern Ireland veterans — despite both men vying to replace her backing The Sun’s Veterans Pledge.
Downing Street defended her decision to personally block proposals for an amnesty for Northern Ireland veterans.
A spokesman for the PM warned her successor that dealing with the legacy of the Troubles must be done with care because the issue is “complex and very emotive”.
The three-point plan commits them to bringing in a new law to protect Northern Ireland vets from vexatious historical investigations, an independent veterans department to coordinate help across Whitehall and a new Armed Forces Covenant to ensure vets and their families never face disadvantages because of their service.
Asked why the PM had so far refused to back a change in the law to protect Northern Ireland veterans, a spokesman said: “Obviously this is something that does need to be addressed.
“We have been doing that sensitively, it’s obviously a complex and very emotive issue and you’ll know that the Northern Ireland Office last week published a summary of consultation responses.
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“The PM’s view is it’s really important to get that right and that’s the approach we’ve taken.”
A leaked memo in May revealed that the PM had personally ruled out the idea of a statute of limitations on historic prosecution of military personnel who served during the Troubles.
The memo – dated March 2018 – also warned that veterans should be offered “equal, other than preferential treatment” to other groups including former terrorists.
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