MP’s new role for nuclear test veterans
MP for South Holland and the Deepings John Hayes has been named vice patron of the British Nuclear Test Veterans’ Association (BNTVA).
He has been key in his support for Moulton nuclear test veteran Douglas Hern and the campaign for recognition and help from the government.
Douglas (81) witnessed five tests on Christmas Island – one atom bomb and four hydrogen bombs.
He and other veterans – and their descendants – are still living with the awful legacy of those tests, which has seen children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren plagued with illnesses such as cancer and disorders including heart trouble and spina bifida.
Mr Hayes was successful, along with MP John Baron, in helping push for a £25 million provision in the 2015 budget for veterans of British nuclear tests.
He said: “It is a very great honour to become vice patron of the BNTVA.
“Doug had asked me if I would like to get involved (in the campaign) and I have worked with them for a long time and helped with securing a substantial support package for them.
“He has become a great friend of mine and has inspired me.
“I will continue to speak up for them in government and hope to make their case.”