Mark Francois Slams Jeremy Hunt For Equating British Army Veterans And IRA

6 July 2019, 18:38 | Updated: 6 July 2019, 18:41

Conservative MP Mark Francois said veterans are "hopping mad" at Jeremy Hunt for equating British Army veterans with terrorists in the IRA.

Tory leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt said at a digital hustings event peace in Northern Ireland was "hard won" and there was a need to "treat both sides in the same way" under the Good Friday Agreement "however angry we may have felt about what happened".

But Mark Francois hit out at the leadership hopeful, saying veterans were "hopping mad" by the remarks.

Speaking to Matt Frei, the deputy Chair of the Conservative Party ERG group said veterans were "underwhelmed" by Mr Hunt's stance on the Troubles.

Tory leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt
Tory leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt. Picture: Getty

Mr Francois, who had attended the Wickford Veterans Military Breakfast Club this morning, said: "They're hopping mad at the fact Jeremy Hunt said last week that 'we should treat both sides the same', in other words we should treat British Army veterans without whom there would not have been a Good Friday Agreement, with alleged members of the IRA."

But when Matt put to Mr Francois that both candidates were saying things they might regret later on, the Brexiter said Mr hunt's rival Boris Johnson "has been consistent" in wanting an amnesty for long term illegal immigrants.

"This is something I understand [Mr Johnson] argued for when he was Mayor of London," he said.

"That didn't crop up at the veterans breakfast this morning, but what did crop up is they're not too keen on having a Prime Minister who can't tell the difference between the British Army and the IRA."

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