Johnny Mercer says he had ‘no choice’ but to quit as veterans minister


ohnny Mercer has said he had “no choice” but to leave the Government after frustration at a lack of progress over legislation to protect British veterans who served during the Troubles.

Downing Street confirmed on Tuesday evening that the Prime Minister had accepted Mr Mercer’s resignation as veterans minister following speculation he intended to quit the post.

However, the former Army officer said on Twitter that he was “sorry to have been relieved of my responsibilities in Government” amid reports that he was sacked by Boris Johnson.

The MP for Plymouth Moor View has been heavily involved in the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill, which is going through its final stages in Parliament.

The legislation was developed in response to legal claims made after operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, but does not cover incidents in Northern Ireland.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, which was posted on Twitter, Mr Mercer said the Government risks “damaging an already bruised veterans cohort further” with the proposals.

He said he had hoped Mr Johnson’s premiership would “signal a step change in veterans affairs in the UK” and that he had raised his concerns in a face-to-face meeting with him.

“It is with a heavy heart that I am forced to offer you my resignation from your Government,” Mr Mercer said in the letter.

“I am of course, desperately sad events have transpired the way they have – I truly have exhausted my efforts and my team to make it work.

VE Day 75th anniversary / PA Archive



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