PRIME Minister David Cameron has insisted Britain’s nuclear test veterans are recognised by the Government.
A long-running campaign to seek official recognition for the thousands of men, including ex-RAF man Archie Ross (pictured), of Oak Close, Castle Gresley, involved in Britain’s nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s and 1960s has been ongoing.
MP John Baron, a patron of the British Nuclear Test Veterans’ Association, repeated calls for recognition for the men during Prime Minister’s Questions.
Mr Cameron replied: “I’m happy to tell the House that this Government absolutely recognises and is extremely grateful to all the service personnel who participated in the nuclear testing programme.
“We should be in no doubt that their selfless contribution actually helped to make sure the UK is equipped with the deterrent that we need.
“Following our meeting I have asked my officials to look again at the specific points and arguments you have made and I’ll come back to you as soon as possible.”
Mr Baron had asked the Prime Minister: “One in three of our nuclear test veterans’s descendants have been born with a serious medical condition. Given our cross-party campaign seeks recognition not compensation, including a Government ex gratia payment to a charitable fund to help those in need, will you – following our last meeting in April – now clear the logjam, recognise the veterans and finally resolve this shameful chapter in our nuclear history?”
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.