Tory minister tells veterans “there is no cover-up” of lacking medical data
A Cabinet minister has flatly denied any cover-up of Cold War blood checks of British servicemen.
Johnny Mercer advised the House of Commons at the moment that the marketing campaign to find the lacking medical data of those that took half in nuclear weapons trials had been politicised by opponents of the Government.
He stated: “Some records were taken, some weren’t, there is not a cover-up policy here to discriminate against this cohort. It simply doesn’t exist. What would be the reason to cover this up rather than look after these people?”
The Veterans Affairs minister spoke after being tackled on allegations he had did not assist ex-servicemen who discovered their medical data have been filleted of data regarding service on the nuclear checks within the Nineteen Fifties and Sixties.
If such blood checks had been taken, they’d be definitive proof of whether or not the veterans had been harmed by radiation, doubtlessly resulting in mass compensation.
Labour MP Emma Lewell-Buck, whose South Shields constituency contains check veterans, requested Mercer a few latest Mirror report – confirmed by his workplace – that he had advised campaigners in the event that they needed to search out out extra they may sue the Ministry of Defence.
She stated: “The minister has recently been shown evidence that blood testing was carried out on servicemen in the 1950s and 1960s, testing that the MoD denied existed. His response was to say that he couldn’t do anything, and the nuclear veterans should sue the MoD. To dismiss these veterans in this way is a dereliction of his duty as veterans minister, isn’t it?”
Humphrey Nemar/day by day mirror)
Mercer didn’t immediately reply the query, as an alternative speaking about “the politicisation of this campaign around nuclear test veterans”. He stated solely the Conservatives had delivered a nuclear check medal, introduced final November by Rishi Sunak after a four-year Mirror marketing campaign.
He added: “The truth is that no-one’s done more than we have, on this side of the House, in delivering that medal over 70 years to our veterans who served there. There is no cover-up in this space.”
Mercer, who’s a Cabinet Office minister, pointed to junior defence minister Andrew Murrison sitting beside him and stated: “I’ve worked extensively with my honourable friend to uncover records in this space”.
Murrison has beforehand advised the Commons that blood checks have been saved amongst “scientific documentation” from the trials. In 2018 the MoD stated it held “no information” concerning the blood checks. Last month, it admitted it might maintain nearly 5,000 information on it.
Veterans have now launched a crowdfunder to sue the MoD to reveal the data, backed with large donations from the Daily Mirror and Ecotricity tycoon Dale Vince. Labour deputy chief Angela Rayner has additionally pledged to uncover the solutions if there’s a change of presidency, and ship compensation.
But Mercer advised the Commons: “I do, I’m afraid, rally against this politicisation of the veterans cohort. We’ve all got a responsibility to act maturely in this space and make sure they receive the answers they deserve really after a very long time.”
Alan Owen, who based marketing campaign group Labrats, stated: “If he was acting maturely he’d engage with us and look at the evidence, not block us on social media. He seems to have merely asked the MoD if it’s hiding anything, and taken its denials at face value. As any veteran could tell him, that’s not a good idea.”