Hands off accused veterans says Jack says Jack

Display in the WW1 room of the King's Own Scottish Borderers Museum at Berwick Barracks
Display in the WW1 room of the King's Own Scottish Borderers Museum at Berwick Barracks

Galloway’s MP has called for a ban on “unfair” investigations into retired military personnel accused of committing crimes while on duty.

Alister Jack, MP for Dumfries and Galloway, has used the current election campaign for leadership of the Conservative Party and post of Prime Minister to push his case for fairer treatment for those who have served their country in the past and many years later find themselves accused of breaches of the law while in uniform.

There was a major furore recently when an ex-member of the Paratroop Regiment was accused of serious misconduct while policing what became the Bloody Sunday protests almost half a century ago.

He wants commitments from both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt to promise “to offer a better deal for UK ex-servicemen and women.”

Mr Jack has pledged his backing to ex-forces Conservative colleagues at Westminster Johnny Mercer and Richard Benyon and The Sun newspaper in promoting a ‘Veterans’ Pledge.’

This calls on the incoming Prime Minister to take on board three key points:

* Creating a separate veterans department to co-ordinate their needs across Whitehall, led by a Cabinet Minister.

* Introduce a legally-binding Military Covenant allowing veterans and bereaved service families to hold the Governement to account if they are disadvantaged.

* Pass legislation in the current term to end unfair and repeated investigations into historical allegations against ex-service personnel.

Mr Jack, a long-standing supporter of veterans’ causes, stated that a substantial number former service personnel, some injured during operations, faced serious issues after returning to civilian life. He said: “I believe a Veterans’ Pledge is overdue, and a change of leadership could present an opportunity to deliver on this widely-held aspiration.”

However, some disagree with any general amnesty for former forces personnel, claiming it would damage the UK’s reputation for even-handed justice.