North Warwickshire and Bedworth’s Member of Parliament Craig Tracey questioned the Ministry of Justice in Parliament over the issue of legal action against serving armed forces and veterans.
Mr Tracey asked Minister Rominic Raab MP:
“Does my Rt. Hon. friend share my anger, and that of my constituent, Carol Valentine, whose son was tragically killed whilst serving his country in Afghanistan, at law firms such as Leigh Day which are heavily involved in actions against veterans and serving members of our armed forces? What action can the government take to close down this industry which is causing so much un-necessary distress to our armed forces and their families.”
The Minister responded:
‘We do share Hon friend’s concerns, he will be aware of the Prime Minister’s announcement last week. Our armed forces professionalism is second to none, we cannot have returning troops hounded by ambulance chasing lawyers pursuing spurious claims. The Justice Secretary has asked me to chair a working group looking at all aspects of this, so we prevent any malicious or parasitic legislation against our brave armed forces.’
The Prime Minister stated last week that:
‘It is clear that there is now an industry trying to profit from spurious claims lodged against our brave servicemen and women who fought in Iraq. This is unacceptable and no way to treat the people who risk their lives to keep our country safe – it has got to end.
The National Security Council will produce a comprehensive plan to stamp out this industry, including proposals to clamp down on no win, no fee schemes used by law firms, speeding up the planned legal aid residence test, and strengthening investigative powers and penalties against firms found to be abusing the system. We will also take firm action against any firms found to have abused the system in the past to pursue fabricated claims.
Our armed forces are rightly held to the highest standards, but our troops must know that when they get home from action overseas this Government will protect them from being hounded by lawyers over claims that are totally without foundation.’
Speaking afterwards Craig Tracey MP commented:
“This is an issue that has made local residents and myself very angry. I read with interest Carol Valentine’s comments in local newspapers and agreed wholeheartedly with her. I am pleased that the Government is acting to put an end to the threat of legal action hanging over our brave troops.”