Tories in Milton Keynes are supporting calls for military veterans of the Troubles in Northern Ireland to be protected from prosecution following the launching of legal action against so-called Soldier F.
Milton Keynes Council’s Armed Forces Champion, Cllr Terry Baines estimates that some 35 per cent of the 10,500 veterans living in MK had served at some stage in Northern Ireland.
Cllr Baines says, “In the last week we’ve heard that Soldier F, a 74 year old pensioner has been charged with murder, attempted murder for his alleged actions in Bloody Sunday in 1972. That’s 47 years ago.
“With 10,500 veterans living in Milton Keynes and in all probability 35 per cent of those will have served in Northern Ireland, is one of those the next to be persecuted?”
Bloody Sunday was a dark day in the history of Northern Ireland, when 13 people were shot dead at a civil rights march.
At Wednesday’s meeting of the full Milton Keynes Council, Cllr Baines called on his group leader, Cllr Alex Walker, to start talks with the other party leaders to help support veterans in the city.
Cllr Walker said he would write to Labour leader Pete Marland and Lib Dem Douglas McCall and put pressure on the Ministry of Defence to act fast.
“I think it is an absolute disgrace that veterans 47 years after Bloody Sunday are sitting at home worrying about getting a knock on the door and a trip to court,” he said.
“It is an injustice that former IRA and other terrorists are free from being called to justice while our armed forces face a witchhunt 47 years on.”
And Cllr Baines says, “It is time for politicians to consider the effect of veterans not being included in the Good Friday Agreement. I ask that this council write to the MOD.
“The agreement should cover all in Northern Ireland, not just the terrorists from either side of the Troubles.