Former veterans minister slams ‘distrustful’ government after being fired

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Former veterans minister slams ‘distrustful’ government after being fired

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The former UK Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer has hit out at the government saying the culture created was “the most distrustful, awful environment I’ve ever worked in”.

The Conservative MP told Times Radio “almost nobody tells the truth,” and election pledges had not been delivered.

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The comments follow his departure from the government over legal protections for British troops who fought during the conflict in Northern Ireland.

Downing Street has pledged to act on the matter, however, Mr Mercer told BBC Newsnight in an interview that the Prime Minister had failed to deliver on promises to protect ex-soldiers who served in Northern Ireland from prosecution.

He told the programme he had been “sacked by text” after offering to resign at the end of Wednesday but refusing to go earlier.

Despite this, on Tuesday, a No 10 spokesperson said the PM had “accepted” Mr Mercer’s resignation.

x42003306 9496415 Mr Mercer published his resignation letter which revealed he was a 3 1619022644650.jpg.pagespeed.ic.M1K6q8dz Gx42003314 9496415 Mr Mercer said he will lobby on behalf of Northern Ireland veter a 4 1619022649353.jpg.pagespeed.ic.g7pZcAdRdo

Leo Docherty, who replaced Mr Mercer on Wednesday, promised legislation to offer “protection” to ex-soldiers who served during the Troubles.

However, veterans who served in Northern Ireland have been excluded from a bill making its way through Parliament which aims to prevent unfounded prosecutions over conflicts overseas.

Mr Mercer told reporters that legislation for troops who fought in Northern Ireland had been promised repeatedly but “has never appeared”.

“The government’s been promising for a long time this bill. If I thought there was any prospect of that bill coming, I clearly would have stayed,” he added.

Speaking to Times Radio, he said “nothing has been done” over the issue of Northern Ireland veterans, despite previous Conservative commitments.

“Politics is a question of integrity, this whole trust thing,” he added.

“This is the most distrustful, awful environment I’ve ever worked in, in government. Almost nobody tells the truth is what I’ve worked out over the last 36 hours.

“I don’t think anyone really can get on their high horse about trust and ethics and all the rest of it in politics, because as far as I’m concerned, most of it is a bit of a cesspit”.

The PM’s official spokesman said details new legislation for Northern Ireland would be announced “in the coming weeks”.

“There is more to be done on the issue of the Northern Ireland legacy and we are committed to making progress on this as quickly as possible,” he added.

“We are engaging with Northern Ireland parties and the community in Northern Ireland, including victims’ groups as well as the Irish government, on the way forward.”

This post Former veterans minister slams ‘distrustful’ government after being fired first appeared on Wake Up UK and is written by Daniel Mortimer

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Author: Daniel Mortimer


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