On Wednesday, Jack Lopresti MP marched on Parliament alongside the British Nuclear Test Veterans' Association (BNTVA), along with John Baron MP, who is the Association's Patron, before accompanying them to Downing Street where they handed in a 5,000 signature petition to the Prime Minister.
Between 1952 and 1967, more than 20,000 service people took part in the British Nuclear Test programme in the South Pacific where hundreds of test nuclear weapons were detonated. BNTVA campaigners believe veterans who were present for the testing of these nuclear weapons have suffered higher than normal rates of cancer and rare disorders. Their spouses and children have also suffered, and some children have been known to be born with rare genetic disorders.
Since 2011, BNTVA has been campaigning for recognition of the veterans' unique service to their country. BNTVA are also calling for a £25 million benevolent fund to be established to help with treatment and care for the illnesses veterans and their families are suffering as a result of their service.
Jack said "It is about time that these veterans get the recognition they deserve for their unique and valiant service. Every other country in the world who took part in nuclear tests have recognised and compensated their nuclear veterans, apart from the UK.
We owe these men a huge debt of gratitude as they helped us gain the knowledge to produce and maintain a nuclear deterrent.
These people were serving our country and doing their duty, despite knowing the dangers that nuclear radiation presented, it's now time for the government to acknowledge its duty and responsibilities to these veterans."
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Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Daesh (13 Mar 2017)
Jack Lopresti: Will my right hon. Friend reassure the House that we are doing everything possible to help local indigenous forces on the ground with the liberation of Mosul and the defeat of Daesh, not only in relation to equipment and ammunition, but with regard to access to medical care, protective equipment such as helmets and body armour, and getting the right supplies and expertise for their wounded?
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Jack Lopresti: Does the Secretary of State share my view that the need to accommodate the views of 28 different countries has led to the common agricultural policy becoming overtly bureaucratic in a way that has harmed the interests of British farmers?