Tuesday, 4 August 2009



The SNP have called on the Defence Secretary to clarify whether the Ministry of Defence is set to drop its legal bid to cut the compensation paid to wounded soldiers’ after his Ministerial aide kept his job after branding the action ‘bonkers’ and said it should be abandoned – raising the prospect of a climbdown.

SNP Westminster leader and Defence spokesperson Angus Robertson MP also called on Eric Joyce, the Defence Secretary’s PPS, to resign on principle if the action was not dropped.

Mr Robertson said:

“The Ministry of Defence are in a state of utter chaos and confusion, and Bob Ainsworth must clarify whether the government is going to drop its legal bid to cut soldiers’ compensation, or continue through the courts.

“Bob Ainsworth has been left looking a complete fool by his own aide, and yet Eric Joyce is still in his job – despite the fact that neither man seems to have any confidence in the other.

“The Defence Secretary has been branded ‘bonkers’, but Eric Joyce does not come out of this with much credibility either. He does not approve of his government’s policy but is so caught up with the trappings of power that he is clinging to his job at all costs. Eric Joyce should have the courage of his convictions and resign on principle.

“The MoD are behaving shamefully in attempting to cut these compensation payments. These two soldiers were wounded while serving their country, and now the UK Government is fighting them in court – it is an outrageous and crass way to treat these men.

“The MoD should think again about how their action will be viewed by the service community in the present circumstances and drop this ridiculous challenge.”

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