After decades of waiting, for the first time in their 70 year campaign for justice, Nuclear Test Veterans finally met face to face with a sitting Prime Minister. My constituent Laura, her Grandad John and other Nuclear testing veteran families along with myself, Sir John Hayes and Susie Boniface met the PM, and told him of their long fight for recognition and justice.
The Daily Mirror and many others have campaigned for veterans for decades uncovering proof of test effects, missing medical records, men ordered into blast zones wearing only shorts, wives & mothers sent to testing grounds as a morale boost, and unexplained deaths.
2007 research found nuke vets had same rate of DNA damage as Chernobyl clean-up workers. A 2011 MoD study found 83% of survivors had 1-9 chronic health conditions. Surveys of test vets report miscarriage rates 3x higher in wives, & children 10x usual number of birth defects.
The UK is the only nuclear power yet to acknowledge, memorialise or compensate veterans of its nuclear tests. The USA, France, Russia, China, Australia, New Zealand, and even Fiji and the Isle of Man whose citizens were used in UK tests, all do.
It was a positive meeting, and we now hope the campaign to see medallic recognition, a moment of national recognition and acknowledgement, research for descendants, support for veterans and families, war pension reform and education will finally happen.