Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has welcomed the news that Nuclear Test Veterans will receive medals to recognise their contribution to the UK’s nuclear testing programme.
Atomic testing in the UK began in 1952. In the years that followed, 45 nuclear tests were carried out, with devastating effects on service personnel and their families.
Veterans present at the tests have died from unexplained pancreatic damage, numerous brain tumours and many were left sterile. Families of servicemen have been found to suffer with ten times the usual rates of birth defects. Gwynne has long called on the Government to issue an apology to nuclear test veterans, recognise their contribution, and provide proper targeted support to those affected.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer became the first party leader to meet with Nuclear Test Veterans earlier this year, and the Party has given the campaign its “fullest support”.
Those who worked under UK command during tests between 1952 and 1967 will be able to apply for the medal.
Commenting, Andrew Gwynne said:
“This is a huge victory for our nuclear test veterans, and the tireless campaigners who have fought so hard. For decades nuclear veterans have been ignored, and the significant hardship they and their families have had to endure has been nothing short of tragic.
“I am pleased, therefore, that the Government has finally listened and given this long overdue recognition to these veterans.
This landmark moment must represent a step-change for how the Government treats our Nuclear test veterans. Service personnel and their families deserve our constant and full support.