Video: Julian Smith to 'relook at and revisit' soldier prosecutions because 'situation not working'

The Secretary of State, Julian Smith, has said the Government will "relook at and revisit" the pursuit of former British soldiers for atrocities committed in Ireland because the "current situation is not working".

He made the revelation in the British House of Commons in response to a question from the Conservative MP Henry Bellingham, who has been campaigning against prosecutions against former members of the British armed forces for their involvement in crimes during the conflict.

Julian Smith.

Julian Smith.

The North West Norfolk MP said: "In congratulating the new Secretary of State, may I ask him what he plans to do about stopping the relentless hounding of Army and police veterans in respect of alleged historical crimes when most of the evidence has disappeared? What is he going to do about it?"

Mr. Smith replied: "As my hon. Friend will have seen from the report we laid yesterday and from the comments the Prime Minister has made, there has been a new cross-Government effort to ensure that we look at this issue.

"I know that he has raised this issue many times in this House, and I hope he welcomes the fact that the Government accept that the current situation is not working and that we need to relook at and revisit this area. I and a number of my right hon. Friends in the Cabinet are doing so and look forward to reporting to the House in due course."