Standing up for nuclear test veterans

Steve Brine challenged Government Ministers over issues surrounding British nuclear test veterans in a lively Defence Questions session in the Commons on Monday 16th May.

The Winchester & Chandler's Ford MP opened by asking when the government expected to receive results from an independent health-needs audit of UK nuclear test veterans, and whether a response to the findings would be published.

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, Andrew Robathan MP, told the House that the findings are expected this summer. He confirmed that the study, which will document veterans' experiences of ill-health and the services available to them, will then be published and the results shared with relevant parties, such as the Department of Health.

Steve then pressed the Minister for steps which would properly 'recognise the sacrifices' nuclear test veterans had made, which would bring some closure to both survivors and their families.

Mr Robathan began by paying tribute to the men, many of whom were 1950s National Servicemen, and explained that war pensions were provided to anyone who suffered an ailment as a result of active service, which included those who were harmed while watching nuclear tests.

Speaking afterwards, Steve said: "This is one of those issues that has been lingering for such a long time. I have been contacted by many constituents on this, and will continue to press the government, and look forward to reviewing the findings when they are published in the summer."

More information...

You can access Defence Questions via Hansard here.