Thank you for contacting me about the prosecution of soldiers who served in Northern Ireland.
I am deeply concerned that investigations into deaths during the Northern Ireland conflict are disproportionately focussing on soldiers and police officers. This is clearly wrong and does not reflect the fact that the overwhelming majority of those who served did so with bravery and distinction and in a manner totally compliant with the laws they were seeking to uphold.
Ninety per cent of the victims of the Troubles were as a consequence of terrorist interventions, so it vitally important that these cases are examined in a proportionate way. This is why the Northern Ireland Secretary, Karen Bradley, has set forward a new consultation, including a set of proposals, as agreed in the 2014 Stormont House Agreement, which propose a way forward to address the legacy of the past. It is important to be clear however that this is not a final policy decision, but a consultation to ensure that everyone with an interest can have their say. It may very well be that an amnesty is the best way of offering legal protection to those who have served their country.
The Government commends the heroism and bravery of the soldiers and police officers who fought and died to protect the people of Northern Ireland and to uphold democracy and the rule of law. It is only due to the courageous efforts of our security forces that we have the relative peace and stability that Northern Ireland enjoys today.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
EDWARD LEIGH MP