NUCLEAR test veterans are set to march on parliament and move to petition the Prime Minister in a bid to get their plight recognised by the Government.
The latest moves come after the dwindling group of men, who say they have been left with debilitating illnesses as a result of tests in the South Pacific in the 1950s and 60s, were the subject of a debate in the Houses of Commons.
During the discussion, it was revealed the veterans were pushing to get official recognition from David Cameron.
There were also calls for a £25 million national benevolent fund to help veterans and their families.
A group of the campaigners are to march on parliament next month to draw attention to their cause.
Ex-RAF man Archie Ross, 79, of Oak Close, Castle Gresley, spoke to the Mail about the latest developments.
Mr Ross said: “I’m not bitter about what happened, but I’ve been to so many tribunals where we’ve been turned down.
“Sixteen of my colleagues in the last 40 years have all had various types of problems and a lot of them have passed away because of carcinoma-related illnesses.
“I know several children who have been badly deformed. Once the government recognise that, they’ll have to pay out to every affected child born from then on.”
In the debate, questions were raised over whether the test veterans could link health issues with radiation exposure.
Heather Wheeler, MP for South Derbyshire, said: “I am looking for a glimmer of hope that there will be practical measures as well as support, verbal apologies and congratulations to the servicemen involved at the time.”
In 2006, 1,000 veterans attempted to sue the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Nine of these took their case to the Supreme Court last year but lost their bid for damages.
The MoD argued that too much time had passed since the tests for the case to be allowed to go to court.
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence Anna Soubry argued that nuclear test veterans did not suffer any extra health problems.