Veterans group’s ‘sadness’ over Johnny Mercer resignation

A major group representing ex-service personnel has expressed “great sadness” at the resignation of Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 11:48 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 3:36 pm
Tory MP and former Army captain Johnny Mercer

Paul Young, senior advisor to the Justice for Northern Ireland Veterans Original group, said it had become increasingly clear that Mr Mercer was fighting “a losing battle” in attempting to address perceived injustices inflicted on those who served in Northern Ireland.

“Veterans campaign leaders have been aware for some time that Johnny Mercer MP has been fighting a heroic losing battle away from the public eye and veteran sights,” Mr Young said.

“It is clear that Johnny Mercer MP feels very strongly that the injustices that have been perpetrated against the Northern Ireland veterans are simply not being addressed and are not likely to be in the near or indeed distant future.

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Paul Young of Justice for Northern Ireland Veterans Original

“Johnny Mercer has shown by his courageous actions that he is a man of principle and honour.

“It is a pity that those that made binding promises to enact legislation for the NI veterans and got the veteran community to vote for them in the last election have not the same courage to also resign their seats.”

“This one move alone has shaken the veteran campaign groups’ belief in anything the government has promised, including ... in recent talks with the Northern Ireland secretary of state that protective legislation will be brought forward before the start of the summer recess.”

Mr Young said it is clear that Mr Mercer would not have resigned if he was confident that this legislation would be forthcoming as promised.

He added: “It is clear that the Sinn Fein/IRA lobby group has more influence on government than the true victims and survivors of terrorism. What a sad state of affairs.”

READ: Time limit on Troubles prosecutions should apply to all - NI Veterans Commissioner

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