PM accused of secretly blocking a bid to stop Troubles veterans being investigated

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THERESA May was accused of secretly blocking a bid to stop Northern Ireland veterans being investigated.

The PM is said to be trying to keep power-sharing talks with Sinn Fein alive.

Former Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson levelled the blame squarely on No10 and Theresa May
HOC/JESSICA TAYLOR

It follows Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt’s proposal to end prosecutions for accusations against service personnel more than a decade old without compelling new evidence.

But troops who served in the 30 years of the Troubles will be exempt.

As former soldiers claimed they had been hung out to dry, former Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson levelled the blame squarely on No10.

The ex-MoD boss, who was fired two weeks ago over a leaking row, said he and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox had tried for months without success to enforce protection for the vets.

He told The Sun: “No10 have dragged their heels because of sensitivities in Stormont. But every week means the distress for veterans continues.

“Why should the later part of their lives be spent dealing with this stress?”

The vets face another blow when Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley unveils plans for a major new inquiry.

It will look at as many as 300 killings in the line of duty. Ms Bradley will say the Government is consulting on the scope of its Historical Investigations Unit (HIU). It is expected to get £150million over five years.


Republican party Sinn Fein has made it clear it will walk away from talks to re-establish the Stormont assembly unless the HIU is set up.

Tory MP and former Army officer Johnny Mercer said: “Veterans are not a pawn in political negotiations. This is totally unacceptable.”

The PM’s spokesman said: “The MoD has been clear there is a process for Northern Ireland and that is something they are feeding into.”

Troops who served in the 30 years of the Troubles will be exempt from plans to end prosecutions for accusations against service personnel more than a decade old
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