McCallion challenges Johnson over Soldier F support

Sinn Féin MP Elisha McCallion has challenged the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the ‘lauding’ of former British soldiers accused of murder and other crimes during the conflict in Ireland.

The Foyle MP was part of a Sinn Féin leadership delegation that had its first meeting with the new British Prime Minister today. 

Commenting afterwards, Elisha McCallion said: “Boris Johnson claimed in the meeting that his government is still committed to the legacy process agreed in the Stormont House Agreement.

“However, the evidence on the ground paints a very different picture given the ongoing refusal by the British Government to implement that agreement.

“I told Boris Johnson that if he is serious about the legacy agreement then he needs to get on with implementing it and he needs to end the lauding of former British soldiers who are accused of murder and other crimes during the conflict in Ireland.

“We have witnessed repeated and false claims from successive British Ministers about a so-called witch-hunt against former British soldiers. Such claims are deeply offensive and hurtful to victims. They are also patently untrue as evidenced by the facts from the PSNI and the Director of Public Prosecutions.

“I also specifically raised the issue of the Soldier F who is facing murder and attempted murder charges over his actions on Bloody Sunday.

“The decision to prosecute only one soldier over Bloody Sunday caused great hurt to the families. The almost hero worship we have seen for that same soldier in the weeks and months since has offended and retraumatised them even further.

“If Boris Johnson is anyway committed to an agreement on dealing with the past, then he needs to ensure that his government and his ministers stop feeding a narrative that former British soldiers are somehow entitled to be exempt from the rule of law.”