Upon the request of Kenneth Gibson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Veterans Keith Brown MSP has committed to urge UK Government Ministers to recognise and compensate those veterans who have suffered ill-health as a direct result of their involvement in nuclear tests at their next meeting.
Responding to Kenneth’s request to do so, Mr Brown furthermore said:
“This Government supports fully the position that where ill-health is proven to be a result of Service in the Armed Forces it is right that the UK Government recognises this and provides adequate compensation.
“Any veteran who believes that they have suffered ill-health due to Service has the right to apply for no-fault compensation.
“In addition, we welcomed the news that in 2019 Veterans UK worked with the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association to develop enhanced guidance to support claimants belonging to the Nuclear Test Veterans community.
Kenneth, who most recently raised the issue in a debate on Veterans earlier this month, said:
“I welcome the SNP Government’s commitment in this regard.
“While Defence and Employment are reserved, there are veterans in Scotland who have been affected by this and our own Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Veterans can send a strong message to the Tory Government on their behalf.
“The UK Government is currently preparing a response to the final phase of the Nuclear Test Veterans study, which began in December 2018 and was concluded in February this year.
“I and many others will watch with interest to see if, after 70 years, they finally do the right thing or they need to be pressed further.”
Thee UK Health Security Agency finally published the result of a new study that examined the mortality and cancer incidence among men who were forced to take part in the UK’s nuclear weapons tests between 1952 and 1967.
That latest research involved the study of a cohort of 21,357 servicemen and male civilians from the UK who participated in the tests. It was found that those test veterans were 3.77 times more likely than the control group to die from chronic myeloid leukaemia, which is a type of bone cancer that the report says is “radiation-inducible.”