Overseas Operations Bill to stop tank chasing lawyers
This week, I voted in favour of the Overseas Operations Bill, which will protect our Armed Forces personnel from vexatious claims.
As a country, we cannot sit back and allow tank chasing lawyers to hound our servicemen and women. They make enormous sacrifices to keep our country safe, and it's disgraceful that upon returning home, their lives can be destroyed by false allegations.
Cases such as that of Major Robert Campbell are scandalous. He had to endure eight investigations over 17 years into one incident that took place in 2003. Each investigation cleared him, only for the goalposts to be moved for each successive investigation.
The toll this has taken upon this completely innocent man, who put his life on the line for his country, has been enormous. And he is not alone. The Iraq Historic Allegations Team determined that 70% of cases did not have a case to answer or that it would be disproportionate to conduct an investigation.
This Bill will raise the bar for prosecutions relating to overseas operations. It is not, as the Opposition wrongly argue, an amnesty for torture and war crime offences. The changes the Government are proposing will merely raise the bar to prevent so-called "lawfare" against our veterans.
I am pleased to report that this vital Bill has now passed the House of Commons and will now progress to the House of Lords to be considered.