Johnny Mercer MP: Forces Champion

Writing in The Telegraph, Johnny Mercer MP reveals a terrible betrayal of our servicemen and women by the Ministry of Defence, the organisation that claims to support them.

He refers to the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) a £5m/year gravy train for ex-coppers set up by the Ministry of Defence to investigate allegations of abuse, torture and murder of Iraqis by British servicemen. Currently there are some 1,500 on-going investigations, which as Johnny rightly points out, would imply ‘a total breakdown of law and order on an unprecedented scale across the British Army in Iraq’. It doesn’t take more than two brain cells to see that  an investigation of this scale is totally disproportionate.

However, even in war, soldiers are not above the law. Discipline and standards are maintained on the battlefield through strict adherence to the Law of Armed Conflict. Consequently, it comes as little surprise to me that, even after such a thorough review of alleged abuse, not a single IHAT case has been brought to trial or resulted in a successful conviction.

Inexplicably, instead of winding down the IHAT investigation and celebrating the quality of its men and women, the Ministry prefers to keep the gravy train running and soldiers now find they are subject to a second and in some cases even a third investigation. Squandering taxpayers money and causing unnecessary misery for those involved.

SPIN ZHIRA: Old Man in Helmand is the unauthorised, unvarnished and irreverent story of one man’s midlife crisis on the front line of the most dangerous district in Afghanistan where the locals haven’t forgiven the British for the occupation of 1842 or for the Russian Invasion of 1979. Of course, all infidels look the same so you can’t really tell them apart.


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