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Boris Johnson vows to change human rights law to protect soldiers who served in Northern Ireland

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Boris Johnson last night vowed to change the law to protect Northern Ireland veterans.

On the eve of Armistice Day, he unveiled a plan to end a legal ‘witch-hunt’ against our former soldiers and told them: ‘We will always support you.’

The Prime Minister wants to amend the Human Rights Act so that it does not apply to any incidents before it came into force in October 2000.

It would end the obligation on the authorities to investigate veterans, many now in their 60s, who served during the Troubles.

The Prime Minister (pictured) wants to amend the Human Rights Act so that it does not apply to any incidents before it came into force in October 2000

Ben Wallace said the ‘Armed Forces have been subject to rulings by British courts which have led to the law being weaponised against our Armed Forces.’

He said it was ‘illogical to apply improper extensions of human rights law’ when the law of armed conflict already applies to military operations.

Mr Wallace said the Tories would ‘end the unfair trials of people who served their country when no new evidence has been produced and when the accusations have already been exhaustively questioned in court’ it added.

Ahead of a trip to the Black Country today, Mr Johnson said: ‘If I’m elected on the 12th December, I want the message from my Government to our Armed Forces to be louder and clearer than ever: we salute you and we will always support you.’

Ben Wallace (pictured) said the 'Armed Forces have been subject to rulings by British courts which have led to the law being weaponised against our Armed Forces'

Ben Wallace (pictured) said the 'Armed Forces have been subject to rulings by British courts which have led to the law being weaponised against our Armed Forces'

Ben Wallace (pictured) said the ‘Armed Forces have been subject to rulings by British courts which have led to the law being weaponised against our Armed Forces’

In 2017 Theresa May announced plans to prevent troops being investigated in future conflicts following a campaign by the Daily Mail.

Today’s announcement is a huge victory for ex-soldiers who have faced years of uncertainty.

Veterans minister Johnny Mercer said: ‘The Armed Forces has always ensured that those who break the law will be held to account – our ability to do this sets us apart from those we do battle with. There has never been a hiding place in uniform for those who cannot operate within the professional boundaries.

‘But war and conflict is changing, and so-called ‘lawfare’ is now a part of that. We must protect our service personnel accordingly.

‘With a Conservative majority government, the Law of Armed Conflict will be the appropriate and specific choice for military operations.’

Mr Mercer, a former Army captain, added: ‘The Human Rights Act will be amended to specify that it doesn’t apply to issues – including any death in the Northern Ireland Troubles – that took place before the Act came into force in October 2000. This will restore the intended scope of the Act.’

The Mail has highlighted how veterans have faced repeated investigations over alleged incidents many decades earlier. And David Petraeus, a former US general, yesterday issued an extraordinary condemnation of the legal ‘witch-hunt’. 

His comments came in a foreword to a report by the Policy Exchange think-tank published that calls on the Government to amend the Human Rights Act.

The Act gives effect to the principles set out in the European Convention on Human Rights, such as the prohibition of torture and the right to a fair trial.

It is understood that under the proposed shake-up, the Government would not be obliged to force veterans to give evidence to inquests in Northern Ireland.

Former soldiers have been before as many as 70 inquests – an experience Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said they found ‘frightening’.

Veterans minister Johnny Mercer (pictured) said: 'The Armed Forces has always ensured that those who break the law will be held to account – our ability to do this sets us apart from those we do battle with'

Veterans minister Johnny Mercer (pictured) said: 'The Armed Forces has always ensured that those who break the law will be held to account – our ability to do this sets us apart from those we do battle with'

Veterans minister Johnny Mercer (pictured) said: ‘The Armed Forces has always ensured that those who break the law will be held to account – our ability to do this sets us apart from those we do battle with’

The change would also aim to limit the number of criminal cases troops face, although details on this are unclear. It is understood the Tories are planning to bring in further reforms to ensure criminal cases are stamped out.

They have also unveiled proposals for a tax cut for businesses by scrapping their national insurance contributions for a year for each veteran they take on.

The party has pledged to provide ‘wraparound’ childcare for military families, including breakfast clubs and after-school clubs. This would cover early starts and late finishes for working parents of children aged four to 11 in an attempt to persuade women to stay in uniform.

Veterans will also be guaranteed a job interview for any public sector role they apply for in a move to overcome obstacles to employment. Mr Johnson said: ‘These measures will mean more childcare support for those who are currently serving.

‘And it will mean that we harness the enormous contribution that veterans can make to our businesses and public sector organisations.’

Mr Wallace added: ‘In the days of advanced technology and automation it is easy to forget that the most important equipment in the Armed Forces are the men and women serving. This policy demonstrates our commitment to them and is a recognition of the pressures they face.’

Jeremy Corbyn has also announced a series of reforms, pledging decent housing for the military and their families and better access to schools.

Labour says that it will consult on creating a body similar to the Police Federation to give a ‘voice’ to servicemen and women. 

US general condemns witch-hunt  

By Larisa Brown Defence and Security Editor 

A former US general today blasts Britain’s ‘unfair’ legal witch-hunt against soldiers and veterans.

General David Petraeus, who led coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, will say it is appalling that troops who served in Northern Ireland remain exposed to the risk of prosecution decades on.

His intervention comes in a report by a think-tank resisting the ‘judicialisation’ of war. General Petraeus wrote: ‘British soldiers are increasingly subject to a different legal regime than are their American counterparts.’ 

The former CIA chief said the extension of the European Convention on Human Rights to the battlefield had made ‘extensive litigation against British soldiers inevitable’, adding: ‘This, in turn, risks promoting a culture of risk aversion in the ranks.

‘The unfair pursuit of British soldiers and veterans in the aftermath of operations is particularly concerning. This has caused enormous stress and anxiety on those who are caught up in investigations, sometimes years or even decades after their combat service.

‘The extent to which those who served decades ago in Northern Ireland, including the highly distinguished soldier-scholar General Sir Frank Kitson, remain exposed to legal risk is striking and appalling.

‘This is not only unfair to those who have served and sacrificed for their country, it also gravely undermines the morale of those serving now and raises an unnecessary concern for potential recruits.’

Professor Richard Ekins and Julie Marionneau, who wrote the Policy Exchange report, say ministers must maintain the policy of derogating from the ECHR in future battles, as promised by the Tory party.

The pair also argue that the Human Rights Act must be amended.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger, 72, drives his new $100K Pinzgauer military vehicle in California

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Arnold Schwarzenegger was seen driving his later motor, a six-wheeled Pinzgauer 718 K high-mobility all-terrain vehicle, for a drive in Brentwood, California, on Sunday just days after meeting with teen climate crusader Greta Thunberg.

The Terminator star, 72, has used S-TEC to modify the vehicle to 180HP/132KW and make it more environmentally friendly as the original cars have a D24T 2.4-litre diesel engine – with older models using 20-30 miles per gallon.  

It is not known what the new specifications are but the official S-TEC website claims that they were able to ‘dramatically reduced the fuel consumption and the environmental impact compared to the original engine’.

Latest: Arnold Schwarzenegger was seen driving his later motor, a six-wheeled Pinzgauer 718 K high-mobility all-terrain vehicle, for a drive in Brentwood, California, on Sunday just days after meeting with teen climate crusader Greta Thunberg

Latest: Arnold Schwarzenegger was seen driving his later motor, a six-wheeled Pinzgauer 718 K high-mobility all-terrain vehicle, for a drive in Brentwood, California, on Sunday just days after meeting with teen climate crusader Greta Thunberg

Latest: Arnold Schwarzenegger was seen driving his later motor, a six-wheeled Pinzgauer 718 K high-mobility all-terrain vehicle, for a drive in Brentwood, California, on Sunday just days after meeting with teen climate crusader Greta Thunberg

They added that Arnold travelled to Albersdorf, in Germany, to monitor the progress on the car and take it on test drives, with the actor left ‘thrilled’ by his new revamped vehicle. 

Prices for a Pinzgauer start at $100,000 (£78,089), with the 6×6 718 K (Arnold’s model) being used by the Austrian Armed Forces. 

Arnold has a penchant for military vehicles, he has a collection of Humvees, Hummers and in 2016 he famously updated his $1 million Mercedes-Benz G-Class wagon with an electric engine.    

Just days before he was seen in his new Pinzgauer 718 K, Arnold went for a bike ride with teen climate crusader Greta Thunberg with the actor lending the activist his electric car.   

Modified: The Terminator star, 72, has used S-TEC to modify the vehicle to 180HP/132KW and make it more environmentally friendly as the original cars have a D24T 2.4-litre diesel engine - with older models using 20-30 miles per gallon

Modified: The Terminator star, 72, has used S-TEC to modify the vehicle to 180HP/132KW and make it more environmentally friendly as the original cars have a D24T 2.4-litre diesel engine - with older models using 20-30 miles per gallon

Modified: The Terminator star, 72, has used S-TEC to modify the vehicle to 180HP/132KW and make it more environmentally friendly as the original cars have a D24T 2.4-litre diesel engine – with older models using 20-30 miles per gallon

Climate change: Just days before he was seen in his new Pinzgauer 718 K, Arnold went for a bike ride with teen climate crusader Greta Thunberg with the actor lending the activist his electric car

Climate change: Just days before he was seen in his new Pinzgauer 718 K, Arnold went for a bike ride with teen climate crusader Greta Thunberg with the actor lending the activist his electric car

Climate change: Just days before he was seen in his new Pinzgauer 718 K, Arnold went for a bike ride with teen climate crusader Greta Thunberg with the actor lending the activist his electric car 

The action star and former California Governor posted pictures of their meeting to his Instagram page, showing the pair on cycling tour around Santa Monica and meeting his daughter Christina, 28. 

He wrote: ‘It was fantastic to see my friend and one of my heroes @gretathunberg last week and go on a bike ride around Santa Monica together and I was so pumped to introduce her to my daughter Christina. Keep inspiring, Greta!’ 

In May, Greta opened the 2019 Austrian World Summit of non-profit environmental organisation R20 Regions of Climate Action, set up by vegan Arnie in 2011.

Backed by the United Nations, R20 is a coalition of governments, international organisations and private companies that implement green infrastructure in cities. 

Details: It is not known what the new specifications are but the official S-TEC website claims that they were able to 'dramatically reduced the fuel consumption and the environmental impact compared to the original engine'

Details: It is not known what the new specifications are but the official S-TEC website claims that they were able to 'dramatically reduced the fuel consumption and the environmental impact compared to the original engine'

Details: It is not known what the new specifications are but the official S-TEC website claims that they were able to ‘dramatically reduced the fuel consumption and the environmental impact compared to the original engine’

Bike ride: The former California Governor posted pictures of his meeting with Greta to his Instagram page, showing the pair on cycling tour around Santa Monica and meeting his daughter Christina, 28

Bike ride: The former California Governor posted pictures of his meeting with Greta to his Instagram page, showing the pair on cycling tour around Santa Monica and meeting his daughter Christina, 28

Bike ride: The former California Governor posted pictures of his meeting with Greta to his Instagram page, showing the pair on cycling tour around Santa Monica and meeting his daughter Christina, 28

The actor has also become vegan, in a clip for documentary The Game Changers, he reveals his cholesterol has dropped to 109 and he loves plant-based food.

He adds: ‘Selling the idea that real men eat meat. But you’ve got to understand: that’s marketing. That’s not based on reality.’ 

Arnold, who served as the Governor of California from 2003 to 2011, signed a law in 2006 to help pave the way toward a 54.5-mpg fuel economy standard by 2025.  

In 2018, Arnold claimed President Donald Trump is ‘out of his mind’ for terminating Obama-era fuel emission standards while denying his home state of California the legal right to impose its own regulations. 

He wrote: 'It was fantastic to see my friend and one of my heroes @gretathunberg last week and go on a bike ride around Santa Monica together and I was so pumped to introduce her to my daughter Christina. Keep inspiring, Greta!'

He wrote: 'It was fantastic to see my friend and one of my heroes @gretathunberg last week and go on a bike ride around Santa Monica together and I was so pumped to introduce her to my daughter Christina. Keep inspiring, Greta!'

He wrote: ‘It was fantastic to see my friend and one of my heroes @gretathunberg last week and go on a bike ride around Santa Monica together and I was so pumped to introduce her to my daughter Christina. Keep inspiring, Greta!’ 

Eco-warrior: In May, Greta opened the 2019 Austrian World Summit of non-profit environmental organisation R20 Regions of Climate Action, set up by vegan Arnie in 2011 (pictured in May)

Eco-warrior: In May, Greta opened the 2019 Austrian World Summit of non-profit environmental organisation R20 Regions of Climate Action, set up by vegan Arnie in 2011 (pictured in May)

Eco-warrior: In May, Greta opened the 2019 Austrian World Summit of non-profit environmental organisation R20 Regions of Climate Action, set up by vegan Arnie in 2011 (pictured in May) 

‘For 48 years – since one of my heroes, then-governor Ronald Reagan, requested it – California has had a waiver from the federal government to clean our own air,’ the former governor tweeted.

‘If the President thinks he can win this fight, he’s out of his mind.’

Schwarzenegger wrote that he’s ‘sick and tired of these fake conservatives who believe in states’ rights to make their own policies – as long as state policy is to pollute more.

‘I’ve had it with the so-called pro-business conservatives who ignore what actual industry leaders say is best for business.’

Schwarzenegger has been a frequent critic of Trump – and vice versa. 

Feud: In 2018, Arnold claimed President Donald Trump (pictured this month) is 'out of his mind' for terminating Obama-era fuel emission standards while denying his home state of California the legal right to impose its own regulations

Feud: In 2018, Arnold claimed President Donald Trump (pictured this month) is 'out of his mind' for terminating Obama-era fuel emission standards while denying his home state of California the legal right to impose its own regulations

Feud: In 2018, Arnold claimed President Donald Trump (pictured this month) is ‘out of his mind’ for terminating Obama-era fuel emission standards while denying his home state of California the legal right to impose its own regulations 

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Shoppers’ fury after Sainsbury’s pulls chips from its cafes’ children’s menus

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Parents have branded supermarket Sainsbury’s ‘killjoys’ after it took normal chips off of its children’s menu.

The options of chicken nuggets, sausage or ‘omega-3 fish fingers’ now only come with mash, half a jacket potato or sweet potato fries.

Shoppers, who suspect the supermarket of making the decision on health grounds, say they feel like they are being told what they can and can’t give their youngsters.

Sainsbury's are under fire from some parents after removing chips from children's menus

Sainsbury's are under fire from some parents after removing chips from children's menus

Sainsbury’s are under fire from some parents after removing chips from children’s menus

The children’s menu in Sainsbury’s cafes now has five main options; nuggets, fish fingers, sausage or veggie sausage, bolognese or mac and cheese.

But none of the options come with ordinary, potato, chips, and only ‘veg sticks’ or half a jacket potato are offered as sides.

On the menu, each option now has the number of calories each contains in a box next to it. Each meal also comes with a juice and piece of fruit.

Parents who go to the cafe for a treat say they feel they are being patronised by the limited choice.

One mother, from West Yorkshire, told The Sun: ‘It’s a farce because chips are on the adults’ menu. When I pointed this out I was told kids can’t eat chips at Sainsbury’s.

‘They are such killjoys. Who are they to tell me what I can or can’t feed my kids? They’re also hypocrites as they happily sell me chips to cook for the children at home.’

Chips are available on the adult menu both as a side and with the fish and chips option

Chips are available on the adult menu both as a side and with the fish and chips option

Chips are available on the adult menu both as a side and with the fish and chips option

She pointed out that they are still on sale in the store’s frozen aisle, as well as on the adults’ menu.

Parents who really want chips can also order a side from the adults’ menu.

A spokesman for Sainsbury’s said: ‘We have not offered fried potato chips on the children’s menu in our cafés for 18 months, however we do offer oven cooked sweet potato fries. 

‘Customers can still buy fried potato chips and sweet potato fries from the main menu in our cafés.’

A store source said most cafes would allow parents to switch to ordinary chips if they wanted them. 

The supermarket only offers jacket potato, mash or sweet potato fries with children's meals

The supermarket only offers jacket potato, mash or sweet potato fries with children's meals

The supermarket only offers jacket potato, mash or sweet potato fries with children’s meals

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The Queen is ‘a fan’ of ‘unflappable’ Kate Middleton

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The Queen is ‘a fan’ of Kate Middleton and her ‘unflappable’ attitude’, as the two share a ‘keep calm and carry on’ approach in life, a royal source told Vanity Fair.  

The Queen, 93, is said to have bonded with the Duchess of Cambridge, 37, over the way they both balance family life with their royal duties. 

The close bond between the pair was clear for all to see during yesterday’s Remembrance Sunday commemorations at the Cenotaph. 

The Queen and Kate stood next to each other on the same balcony and could be seen sharing quiet words together at various points during proceedings. 

The Queen is 'a fan' of Kate Middleton and her 'unflappable' attitude', as the two share a 'keep calm and carry on' approach in life, a royal source told Vanity Fair. Pictured, the Queen and the Kate share a moment on the balcony during Remembrance Sunday commemorations

The Queen is 'a fan' of Kate Middleton and her 'unflappable' attitude', as the two share a 'keep calm and carry on' approach in life, a royal source told Vanity Fair. Pictured, the Queen and the Kate share a moment on the balcony during Remembrance Sunday commemorations

The Queen is ‘a fan’ of Kate Middleton and her ‘unflappable’ attitude’, as the two share a ‘keep calm and carry on’ approach in life, a royal source told Vanity Fair. Pictured, the Queen and the Kate share a moment on the balcony during Remembrance Sunday commemorations

Speaking to Vanity Fair, the royal source explained the Queen admired the Duchess’s ‘unflappable’ nature.  

 ‘Her [the Duchess of Cambridge’s] mantra is very like the Queen’s “keep calm and carry on” approach in life, and she has the added benefit of making the Royal Family seem almost normal and in touch.’ 

Royal biographer Claudia Joseph told the publication this year had been ‘Kate’s year’ and suggested the Duchess looked ‘happy and in control’. 

She revealed: ‘She’s very much the girl next door, from how she dresses to how she behaves and interacts with people on engagements. She is likeable and relatable and that has made her very popular.’ 

The source also suggested that the Queen held an admiration for how Kate was balancing her royal duties with family life

The source also suggested that the Queen held an admiration for how Kate was balancing her royal duties with family life

The source also suggested that the Queen held an admiration for how Kate was balancing her royal duties with family life 

The royal has also been praised in recent weeks for her down-to-earth attitude  and ‘relatable’ parenting style. 

A source told The Sun that Kate ‘wanted the children to live in the real world’. 

They added: ‘She and William don’t want them to live in a gilded bubble.’ 

And according to the source, Kate’s parenting techniques have been influenced by her late mother-in-law Princess Diana, who wasn’t scared to break tradition when it came to parenting. 

Just weeks ago royal fans praised the ‘relatable’ royal after she was seen at a Sainsbury’s self-service tills buying Halloween outfits for George and Charlotte.

Wearing a black ensemble, the mother-of-three even asked some children what they were going to dress up as for Halloween while shopping at Sainsbury’s in Hardwick, Cambridgeshire.

Social media users were full of praise her for being in the supermarket, describing her as ‘relatable.’

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