Veterans accuse Keir Starmer of betrayal as he vowed to tear up law protecting them from Troubles-related witch-hunts

VETERANS accused Sir Keir Starmer of an “outrageous betrayal” as he vowed to tear up the law that shields them from decades-old legal witch hunts.

Tory MP James Heappey, a former Army officer, slammed the policy as an “absolute disgrace”.

Sir Keir Starmer pledged to repeal the Legacy Act which draws a line under Troubles witch hunts

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Sir Keir Starmer pledged to repeal the Legacy Act which draws a line under Troubles witch huntsCredit: Getty

Sir Keir pledged to repeal the Legacy Act which draws a line under Troubles witch hunts.

The law – backed by The Sun – grants troops and terrorists amnesties to avoid 70 and 80 year old veterans being dragged through the courts.

Heappey said: “The idea that an incoming Labour government would repeal those laws and re-expose a generation of British soldiers to those vexatious allegations, is just an absolute disgrace.”

He told The Sun’s World At War show: “Allegations were being dug up from the distant past and soldiers in their in advanced years, some of them 70, 80 years old, were being dragged over to court and being challenged to remember the exact detail of something that happened a lifetime ago.”

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He added: “The laws that have been passed over the last five years, and brilliantly championed by The Sun, set out to write this incredible wrong.”

Speaking on the campaign trail Sir Keir insisted he was “committed to repealing” the law.

He claimed it had no support from parties in Northern Ireland.

Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer warned Labour would “restart prosecutions of veterans who served in Northern Ireland”.

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The former commando officer said: “Every veteran associated with labour [should] go and look Northern Ireland veterans in the eye and tell them you are campaigning for someone who is going to restart prosecutions of veteran in Northern Ireland.”

Labour insisted yesterday it had “deep gratitude” to veterans and vowed to create an Armed Forces Commissioner to champion armed forces personnel and their families.

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Sir Keir said: “I have changed the Labour Party to put it back into the service of working people – and the ultimate service is that given by our veterans and armed forces personnel.”

Labour has also vowed to back Britain’s nuclear deterrent and match the Conservatives’ promise to spend 2.5 per cent of GDP on defence.