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

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 6:01 pm on 20th May 2019.

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Photo of Iain Duncan Smith Iain Duncan Smith Conservative, Chingford and Woodford Green 6:01 pm, 20th May 2019

I agree. The other day, I made the point that I have an Operational Service Medal for Rhodesia, as it was then, and a General Service Medal with a clasp for Northern Ireland. I assume that the operations were recognised as equivalents—I do not remember a distinction. I was never told that I was on a subset of an operation in Northern Ireland, but that I could go on a real one in Rhodesia. I can tell hon. Members, without a shadow of a doubt, that Northern Ireland was the more frightening of the two.

The Minister must say loudly to all those who have the privilege of running Departments, and even to the Prime Minister, that this simply cannot stand—it is a deep injustice. Those who served need us to stand up for them, because they have nobody else. Their families need us to stand up for them, because they have nowhere else to go. Successive British Governments have too often failed their servicemen and women because they were mealy-mouthed about how to support them. That has to stop; we must now protect them.

I have one last phrase for the Minister. When natural justice collides with the law, we must change the law to protect those who protected us.