In November 2021 Exposure Magazine reported that Rebecca Long Bailey MP, had raised the issue of Nuclear Veterans during PMQ’s and following from the very positive reply by the Prime Minister we wrote a joint BNTVA/NCCF response to him.

Rebecca Long Bailey
Rebecca Long-Bailey Official Portrait under license Unaltered.

My constituent Laura told me that Remembrance Sunday hurts. It hurts because there have been no medals for her grandad’s service and the thousands of men involved in nuclear weapons tests overseas between 1952 and 1991. It hurts because studies of such veterans have shown increased miscarriages, increased birth defects and the same rate of genetic damage as clean-up workers at Chernobyl. And it hurts because the UK is the only nuclear power on earth that has denied recognition. So I ask the Prime Minister: will he recognise nuclear testing veterans today and agree to meet them? The Leader of the Opposition has.

Rebecca Long-Bailey
Salford and Eccles (Lab)
Boris Johnson
The Prime Minister
©UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for bringing this to my attention. I will certainly make sure that we get a proper meeting with the representatives of the nuclear veterans that she mentions.

Boris Johnson
The Prime Minister

The official transcript of question and the reply can be found at the
House of Commons Hansard using the following link (Column 577):

Joint Statement Letter

The Future…

On the 19th of January we received a personal letter from the Prime Minister thanking us for our joint statement. He reconfirmed the governments recognition of 2014 and has asked that the MOD take the matter forward with us.

Letter from the Prime Minister

This is a great step forward in the work both the NCCF and BNTVA are delivering within our community. Work that will be coordinated between the charities to ensure we develop the representation amongst Government Departments and Health 

Providing Agencies to focus on the measures and services needing delivery within our unique community.

Thanks to the great work of the CHRC we are on the brink of being able to quantify so many aspects of the mental and physical health effects experienced by our community, our task is to educate and negotiate to develop access to resources and support we have so long needed.

Andrew Gwynne
Andrew Gwynne Official Portrait
Ben Wallace
Ben Wallace Official Portrait
Stephanie Peacock
Stephanie Peacock Official Portrait

All portraits – under license Unaltered

Issues surrounding the Nuclear Veterans continue to be raised in the house, on the 21st of February 

The UK is now the only atomic nation with no official recognition of or compensation for nuclear test veterans and their families. Ahead of the 70th anniversary of the first British nuclear test later this year, will Ministers now do the right thing and give these veterans the recognition they deserve?

Andrew Gwynne Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)

I hear what the hon. Gentleman says and I absolutely recognise that we are now the only country in this regard. The last internal review was in December, and I have asked officials to go back and look at that again.

Ben Wallace The Secretary of State for Defence

Then on the 22nd of February

To ask the Prime Minister, With reference to the oral contribution of the Prime Minister of 19 November 2021, official report, column 577, when he plans to meet with the nuclear testing veterans.

Stephanie Peacock, the Shadow Defence Minister

We are grateful to all those who participated in the British nuclear testing programme which played a valuable role towards developing a nuclear deterrent that has ultimately kept Britain safe for decades. We take our obligations to our personnel extremely seriously and ministers are always open to discussing whether we can do more. My Office is in discussions to arrange a mutually convenient time to meet representatives of the nuclear testing veterans.

The Prime Minister 

These exchanges in conjunction with the warm response from Mr Johnson clearly show that continued support and an open door await professional, organised cooperation between the key representatives of our nuclear survivor community. You can be assured that the BNTVA and NCCF will step through that door together.