Gulf War Illnesses

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at on 11 October 2007.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Drayson Lord Drayson Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform, Minister of State (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) (Business and Regulatory Reform), Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Equipment and Support) (also Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform)

My Lords, my noble friend is absolutely right to raise these issues, as he has over many years. The issue of Gulf War syndrome will be fully recognised by the Ministry of Defence, and I accept on behalf of the Ministry of Defence that this issue has not been handled well from the beginning. The department was slow to recognise the emerging ill health issues and to put measures in place to address them. We have apologised for this, and I repeat that apology today.

With regard to the specific case that my noble friend mentions, I should also like to apologise on behalf of the Ministry of Defence to Mr Walker's family. The Ministry of Defence made a mistake, and it has written to the Walker family to make that clear.