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Issue of sum out of the Consolidated Fund for the year ending 31 March 2019 and appropriation of that sum

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 10:00 pm on 9th July 2018.

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Photo of Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer Conservative, Plymouth, Moor View 10:00 pm, 9th July 2018

That is exactly what I am talking about.

Before I came to this place—I have spoken about it before, so this will not be a shock to anyone—I really struggled with the inauthenticity I saw from both the Government and Opposition Dispatch Boxes. Incidents such as the one that has just been referred to serve to highlight that. Up and down the country, there are people watching this who are veterans of Northern Ireland, of Afghanistan, like me, and of Iraq. They will be thinking, “Have these guys got my back? Do they really get it when they can’t even get the terms right? Does that give me the confidence that the Government will apply themselves to ending this ridiculous charade of prosecuting our soldiers? I’m afraid it does not.”

What happens to the amendments after I have finished speaking is up to my right hon. Friend the Member for Sevenoaks, but I have to lodge again my profound and personal disquiet with the Government’s policy. I feel a personal shame with regard to the historical allegations issue. I feel that I am part of a Government who are essentially promoting a cowards’ charter when it comes to looking after our servicemen and women. My right hon. Friend talked about how he made a political decision to close the Iraq Historical Allegations Team. I worked on that issue for a year before he did that. Every single civil servant and lawyer in his Department told him it could not be done, but he took the executive political decision that he was elected to make and closed it. We need some of that political courage to be brought to the issue in relation to Northern Ireland.