The legacy consultation ran for 21 weeks and, during that time, representatives from the Northern Ireland Office engaged with a wide range of stakeholders, victims’ and survivors’ groups, political parties, community groups and others.
The witch hunt against our brave veterans is unacceptable. My constituent, who lives opposite the surgery where I used to work, has reportedly refused much-needed medical treatment so that he can get to court. Many will not forgive us, and nor should they, if he is lost due to disease once this case continues. When will the Government stop consulting and bring an end to these ridiculous cases?
We all owe a vast debt of gratitude for the heroism and bravery of the soldiers and police officers who upheld the rule of law during the troubles in Northern Ireland. The current system under which my hon. Friend’s constituent is being investigated is not working well for anyone, which is why we consulted on how we can improve it as quickly as possible. We are reviewing the thousands of responses received and we will set out in due course how we intend to respond.
Does the Secretary of State accept that someone must cut the Gordian knot that is preventing us from ensuring that our armed forces veterans are not persecuted and pursued in the courts decades after they have faithfully served us?
My right hon. Friend has done significant work in this area, and I agree with him that the current system is simply not working for anyone and we need to change it. I look forward to working with him to find a way of changing the system that works for people.