On the 17th November 2021 The Prime Minister responded to a question in the House from Rebecca Long Bailey MP: 

Rebecca Long Bailey MP

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.

The Prime Minister

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.

Rebecca Long Bailey
Rebecca Long Bailey Official Portrait https://members.parliament.uk/ under license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Unaltered.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Michael Tubi / Shutterstock.com

The Trustees of the BNTVA and NCCF considered the Prime Ministers response and decide to issue the following joint statement:


Joint Statement from the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association and the Nuclear Community Charity Fund

22 November 2021

The British Nuclear Test Veterans Association and its sister charity the Nuclear Community Charity Fund, are proud to represent the members of the British Nuclear Test Veterans and their survivor community, and sincerely welcome the words of The Right Honourable, Boris Johnson, MP, Prime Minister speaking about our community to the house on 17th November.

We acknowledge that in July 2014 the then Prime Minister made a formal statement to the house recognising the contribution of our Nuclear Test Veterans. 

“I am happy to tell the House that the Government recognise and are extremely grateful to all the service personnel who participated in the nuclear testing programme. We should be in no doubt that their selfless contribution helped to equip the UK with the deterrent that it needs.”

In June 2021 the BNTVA submitted a medal application to The Advisory Military Sub-Committee of The Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals.  The AMSC is independently considering the application and we do not believe it is appropriate to lobby the Government to intervene in that process.

We look forward to the support of the Prime Minister in fostering meetings and joint working with our two organisations and various Government Departments to explore and take forward the implications of the research projects being conducted by NHS England and the Centre for Health Effects of Radiological and Chemical Agents at Brunel University London.

We are committed to ensuring constructive and beneficial outcomes for all parties involved and wish to record our appreciation of the Prime Ministers support in the matter.