SOUTH Dorset MP Richard Drax has called for confirmation that there will be no new prosecutions of former Northern Ireland veterans, ending what he describes as a 'witch hunt' against ex-servicemen.

The Conservative politician, who served as an office in the Coldstream Guards, has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer to ask for confirmation of the pledge made the Queen's Speech.

In December's speech, when HM The Queen outlined the government's forthcoming agenda, the pledge was made to 'bring forward proposals to tackle vexatious claims that undermine our armed forces' and to 'continue to seek better ways of dealing with legacy issues that provide better outcomes for victims and survivors.'

In reply to Mr Drax's letter, Mr Mercer – responding on behalf of himself and the Prime Minister – said that since the recent restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont, the 'New Decade, New Approach' deal has been published.

Mr Mercer added: "This includes a government commitment to publish and introduce legislation in Parliament to implement the Stormont House Agreement and address Northern Ireland legacy issues within 100 days.

The Ministry of Defence is continuing to work with colleagues in the Northern Ireland office to ensure the legislation is implemented in a way which provides certainty for veterans."

Responding to that letter, Mr Drax said: "I am glad to have confirmation that the government will ensure that these witch hunts will finally end.

"Some of them are more than 50 years old and we must ensure that there are no further prosecutions of veterans where there is no new evidence to be brought forward.

"The Justice for Northern Ireland Veterans Group, which I support, backs any legislation which will provide justice and freedom from historical legacy prosecutions for former military personnel. They are calling urgently for better ways to deal with legacy cases for victims and survivors.

"I am glad to see these cases will now be dealt with promptly and sincerely hope that this will mean an end to the repeated and vexatious claims against people who have loyally served their country."