Edwin Poots: Armed Forces Covenant ‘vital’ for political progress in NI
Incoming DUP leader Edwin Poots has stressed that the implementation of the Armed Forces Covenant in Northern Ireland is a key foundation for political progress here and must be delivered upon.
The covenant is a promise from government that those who serve or have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly.
It has not been implemented in Northern Ireland in the same way as other parts of the UK.
Mr Poots, speaking after meeting with the Northern Ireland Veterans’ Commissioner Danny Kinahan on Monday, said: “The DUP will always stand up for those brave men and women who have served in our Armed Forces.
“We have seen only too recently how two Army veterans were brought before a court in circumstances which would never have happened in a case relating to a terrorist incident.
“It was a stark demonstration of the disparity of treatment faced by former members of our armed forces.
“We will continue to demand fair treatment for those who have served our country and full UK-wide implementation of the Armed Forces Covenant is a key part of that. Such a commitment was included within the New Decade New Approach agreement and that must be taken forward with the same vigour as all other parts of that document.”
He added: “The appointment of the veterans’ commissioner is one tangible result of the agreement which can already be seen in operation. It is vital that our veterans have a voice and a champion focusing on their needs and I look forward to continuing to work with Mr Kinahan in securing the very best outcomes for our veterans.”