Boris Johnson backed by MPs who have campaigned for soldier amnesty
TWO of the MPs backing Boris Johnson's bid to become next prime minister have been to the forefront of a Westminster campaign for an amnesty for soldiers who served in Northern Ireland.
Plymouth MP Johnny Mercer and former defence minister Gavin Williamson are both in favour of a statute of limitations for Troubles offences.
Mr Mercer, a former British army officer, has headed up a campaign to prevent further investigations into historical allegations against retired soldiers.
Mr Williamson is on record saying that if a statute of limitations for former soldiers meant a wider amnesty for paramilitaries then "so be it".
He was sacked earlier this month after being accused of leaking details from a National Security Council meeting relating to Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, claims he strongly denied.
He had been planning to bring forward legislation with a 10-year limit for cases against soldiers to be brought to trial that would cover conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan and had expressed a preference that it be extended to cover Northern Ireland.
In a letter to Theresa May - made public last year - he stated: "If this means a wider amnesty, so be it: in the public mind the effect of the Good Friday Agreement sentencing reforms, the 'On the Run' letters, which inadvertently led to the failure of the prosecution of John Downey for the 1982 Hyde Park bombings, and the apparent disproportionate focus of the current investigation on security forces amount to a de facto amnesty for terrorists already".