Immunity for Soldiers — [Mrs Madeleine Moon in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:30 pm on 20th May 2019.

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Photo of Damien Moore Damien Moore Conservative, Southport 4:30 pm, 20th May 2019

The hon. Lady makes an important point; we must foster a true caring environment for our veterans. They should not be hounded in old age, and sometimes illness, by the thought that there could be a letter or a knock at the door that will mean them having to answer for something that happened many years ago.

I say to the Government: enough with the hesitation, and enough with the special provisions that, in the name of supposed human rights violations, have caused our country’s dereliction of its sacred duty of care. We cannot let brave former personnel spend the rest of their life in fear of yet more investigations, more trials and more prosecutions. My hon. Friend Leo Docherty rightly proposed that a statute of limitations be introduced to shield soldiers and police officers from further scrutiny once their names had finally been cleared by our justice system; I am pleased that the Government are looking at that. That is what a motion that he brought to the House would have achieved, and that is what the hundreds of thousands of people who signed the petition want us to do.

Servants of the Crown involved in Operation Banner have had to endure far too much because of the hesitation shown by Governments from 1998, whether in the name of political correctness or out of fear of opening old wounds. It is our duty to put an end to any wavering, and to be decisively proactive on behalf of those who bravely put their life on the line out of a sense of duty and love of country. Indeed, it falls to us Members of Parliament, and to the Government, to protect those who gave their life to protect us.