Politics

Tory MP Refuses To Support Theresa May Until 'Offensive' Probes Into Military Veterans End

Conservative MP Johnny Mercer says he is not prepared to vote for Government legislation until something changes.

A Tory MP has told Theresa May he will no longer support the Government in the Commons unless the historical prosecutions of ex-servicemen and women end.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, former Army officer Johnny Mercer said he found the repeated investigations into allegations - some dating back decades - "personally offensive".

He said he was not to prepared to vote for Government legislation - except on Brexit - until the Government took "clear and concrete steps" to end the "abhorrent process".

"I will not be voting for any of the Government's legislative actions outside of Brexit until legislation is brought forward to protect veterans from being repeatedly prosecuted for historical allegations," Mr Mercer said.

"These repeated investigations with no new evidence [...] is too much."

The Plymouth Moor View MP has campaigned against the pursuit of legacy cases from the conflicts in Northern Ireland, Afghanistan and Iraq since he entered Parliament in 2015.

He recently accused the Tory whips office of contacting former Army comrades in an attempt to dig up dirt on him.

In his letter to Downing Street, Mr Mercer wrote:

"It appears that my values and ethos may be slowly, but very firmly, separating from a party I joined in 2015."

Mr Mercer graduated from Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 2002, spending the following 11 years serving in the British Army.

On the issue of legacy investigations, Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:

"This has dragged on for far too long and it is time for action.

"We owe it to those who take the greatest risk in the service of their nation.

"We will always hold our armed forces and the chain of command to account but I want to ensure our service personnel are not going to be victims of unfounded allegations, as we saw in the case of IHAT, or pursued unfairly for events that took place decades ago.

"This is a personal priority for me."