BORIS Johnson faced a Tory revolt last night after dumping a vow over “witch hunt” probes on Northern Ireland vets.
A Bill to end vexatious investigations into incidents in the province up to 40 years ago has been chopped from the Queen’s Speech.
The PM pledged to introduce the law before the next general election during his Tory leadership campaign. Its omission from the monarch’s address to Parliament on Monday ignited fury.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace is said to have brandished a copy of the Veterans’ Pledge at Mr Johnson at a Cabinet meeting this week.
The commitment, signed by the PM, was organised by forces’ charities and The Sun.
Sources said Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith stated the law must wait for the Stormont Assembly to be reformed, which could take years.
Several Tory MPs have privately vowed to vote down the Queen’s Speech unless a promise for a new law is inserted.
'NO10 HAVE NO INTEREST'
One furious minister said of No10 officials: “The people around Boris have no interest in the military at all. They’d rather talk about green stuff”.
Talks continued last night between No10 and the MoD on what can still be said on Monday.
Defence chiefs’ preferred option is to extend a ten-year statute of limitations for troops to Northern Ireland veterans.
Former Tory minister Richard Benyon said: “We’re looking to Boris to fulfil his promises.”
Tory MP Sir Henry Bellingham added: “We’ll push the PM to explain why he’s omitted this — and to give a commitment in his speech to the Commons to legislate.”
No10 said: “The PM has been clear that we need to end the unfair trials of people who served their country when no new evidence has been produced and when the accusations have been exhaustively questioned in court.
“There are different views on how to move forward and effectively address the legacy of the past in Northern Ireland.
"That said, we are determined to make progress and legislate on the issue of legacy prosecutions.”
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