Nuclear bomb testing: fund for ex-Servicemen

I was in the Chamber last for Prime Minister’s Questions. Amid the usual partisan shouting and insults, an important question was asked by a colleague of mine about setting aside money to help nuclear test veterans.

The nuclear test veterans are Servicemen who were exposed to radiation from testing nuclear bombs many decades ago.

Many of the veterans, and their children, have suffered serious health problems since and there have been numerous calls for a fund to be set up to help them.

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While successive Governments have failed to address this issue, what the Prime Minister said in response was encouraging.

He said he will carefully consider the issue again and I hope he can, at long last, help to sort this issue out.

If he can, it will add to the growing list of veterans’ issues resolved recently.

The Arctic Star medal has been produced to recognise the sacrifice of those who served on the Arctic Convoy in the Second World War, including a resident of Trawden, and veterans of Bomber Command are being recognition in the form of a clasp.

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The Government recently made changes ensuring all war widows and widowers will now be entitled to the pension for life, even if they remarry, closing a loophole that had existed for too long.

Around 4,000 people – mostly women – will benefit.

I had been lobbied on this issue by a widow from Earby, who I am sure will welcome the long overdue change.

There is still much more to do to make sure all our veterans get the support they need and the Government still needs to do right by nuclear test veterans.

I will do what I can to keep up the pressure.

However, recent weeks have seen steps taken in the right direction.