Whilst we in UKIP welcome the news that the Government will introduce a new Office for Veterans Affairs, we must do so with caution.
Our brave veterans and ex-service personnel are used to promises from Her Majesty's Government, but they are also familiar with being let down and in many cases, treated appallingly by consecutive Governments over many years. Let us not forget that this is the world's fifth-largest economy, yet thousands of our own veterans lie homeless on our streets. It is a shameful state of affairs.
Veterans deserve the full implementation of the military covenant across the United Kingdom – with some legal protections to back it up. Veterans should be receiving priority medical care, aftercare and mental health provision. They should also be receiving priority housing. We in UKIP have long called for this.
In addition to this, veterans should be treated with respect. These men and women defended this nation and fought for the freedoms we take for granted, yet a politically motivated witch-hunt has been allowed to continue which specifically targets them for alleged offences; some thirty, forty or fifty years ago. This biased re-writing of history (specifically in Northern Ireland) has gone on long enough.
If this Tory Government truly wants to look after those who have looked after us, a good place to start would be to immediately stop this warped witch-hunt in its tracks.
Although the words and promises on this from the new Prime Minister are welcome, they are at this moment - simply words.
We must see real action. UKIP has called for this action for many years. Our veterans deserve no less.
UKIP Spokesman for Northern Ireland