The Justice for Northern Ireland Veterans group, joined by Mike Hookem MEP, took to the streets to protest against the launching of criminal investigations into historic alleged crimes committed by soldiers on the front line.
One veteran, 75-year-old Dennis Hutchings, was woken up by police in December, who charged him with the attempted murder of an IRA suspect in 1974 while he was serving Queen and country in Armagh.
The Good Friday Agreement, signed off by Tony Blair, allowed 500 convicted terrorists linked to the IRA to walk free, something seen as “a grave injustice” by ex-forces personnel who are now watching their own colleagues face prosecution.
Veterans claim the vast majority of post-conflict charges relating to Northern Ireland are being made against British soldiers, not former IRA members who already have terrorism offences to their name.
In an emotional speech delivered in front of the Houses of Parliament, Alan Barry, event organiser for Justice for Northern Ireland Alan Barry said: “These actions by the British Government are a betrayal of all that we hold dear.
“No British soldier ever went on patrol with the intention of committing a crime, no British soldier ever placed a bomb in a pub full of innocents and no British soldier ever placed a bomb underneath a police vehicle.
“Prime Minister, please do not allow this appalling situation to continue.”
Mike Hookem MEP, Ukip’s spokesman on veterans’ affairs, blasted: “War is a dirty, brutal business, no matter the legal definition you give it, and over nearly 40 years, the troubles in Northern Ireland claimed more than 3,500 lives.
“However, of the combatants, for every paramilitary killed two members of the armed forces and security services lost their lives.
“And while I mourn the members of our brave forces, I remain unapologetic for the deaths of terrorists, who had criminally taken up arms to force a change the majority in Northern Ireland did not want!
“As far as I’m concerned, those who live by the sword, often die by the sword, and that is why it is so disgusting that veterans now face prosecution.
“But rather than being thanked, veterans today live in fear of a knock at the door to be asked questions about the events of a lifetime ago.
“And the odds of being targeted in this post-conflict 'witch-hunt' seem to be growing.”
A petition was handed in at Downing Street demanding the end of the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland and the British Government stop criminal proceedings against military men and women for actions undertaken during the Northern Ireland conflict.