Eddie Mair 4pm - 7pm
Tory MP Johnny Mercer: Why I Can No Longer Support The Government
9 May 2019, 10:20
A Conservative MP says he cannot continue to support the Government until veterans are protected from prosecution.
Former Army officer Johnny Mercer has described repeated investigations into legacy cases, from conflicts including Northern Ireland, "personally offensive".
Mr Mercer says he won't vote for legislative actions other than Brexit until the issue is addressed.
Speaking to Nick Ferrari, he labelled the government's handling of inquiries as a mess.
He said: "Sometimes you have to work out why you're doing what you are, who you are in politics for. I've always been clear on that in my mind and events in the last week have cemented that.
"If any new evidence came forward that showed that a member of the armed forces committed a crime, then of course they should be prosecuted.
"But some of the people who are most affected by this process are the victims and their families I'm afraid. They are strung along for years and years by lawyers who make heaps of money, essentially pretending they are going to get some sort of justice, which they will never get anything close to.
"The whole process is a total mess. It's ruining lives and the only people that could have stopped it some time ago is the government and they have chosen not to do so.
"What is not justice is the constant rehashing of statements made at the time, the changeover of personnel at the Prosecutors offices. These veterans have a life as well and they should be able to move on from this process.
"Nobody is above the law and you will not find a serving soldier who believes someone should break the law on operations.
"But this is not justice. If it was about justice, I would support it."