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Homosexuality Ban: Reparations

Volume 698: debated on Monday 5 July 2021

What steps he is taking to consult on and deliver reparations for service personnel adversely impacted by the historic ban on homosexuality enforced by the armed forces. (902170)

The Government accept that the historic policy of prohibiting members of the LGBT community from serving in the armed forces was absolutely wrong. Work is under way to understand and acknowledge the wide-ranging impact of the pre-millennium practice of the ban. That will ensure that it is not only through the return of medals that the impacts of this historic policy are addressed. We will be announcing this work in due course.

The ban on homosexuality in the armed forces is expected to have affected upwards of 20,000 veterans, who faced inhumane treatment, from medical examinations to imprisonment, and have lived a life of shame and fear. This historic injustice warrants an apology from the Prime Minister. I wonder if the Minister will seek that on behalf of the nation. These men and women have waited long enough. Will he set out a timetable for righting this historic wrong?

Addressing this injustice will be at the heart of the veterans strategy action update plan, which I will announce in the winter. I thank the hon. Member for his sustained interest in the issue. I cannot pre-empt the findings of this workstream, but I assure him that we will address this matter with compassion, humility and urgency.