On December 10 the British Nuclear Test Veterans (BNTV) were once more insulted by the Government, when a committee set up to look into medal claims refused to recommend the award of a medal to personnel involved in the United Kingdom’s nuclear weapons testing programme.

This committee, The Advisory Military Sub-Committee (AMSC) was supposed to be an independent committee, but of the five members, four have, or had, strong links with the Ministry of Defence (MoD), The Chair of the committee is a former Non Executive Director of the MoD, another member a former Director General at MoD, and two others former military Officers still with strong links to the MoD. So the independence of the committee has to be in some doubt.

The official British Nuclear Test Veterans Association submitted evidence to this committee, but from it would appear that this evidence was ignored; only evidence from the MoD appears to have been considered, along with selected data from a 2012 Medal Review.

For years veterans have written to Government Ministers, and their MPs, and along with questions raised in Parliament, in all cases the answers have included the stock answer either verbally or in writing: ‘The Government continues to recognise and are grateful to all the Servicemen who participated in the British Nuclear testing programme.’

If this statement was true, and not just some glib phrases given without sincerity, then why have successive Governments ignored the requests of the veterans for formal recognition in the form of a medal.

The original decision for the United Kingdom to develop a nuclear weapons system was taken by politicians at the end of World War 2, so the decision whether or not a medal is awarded to the personnel involved in the nuclear testing programme should be a political decision, not made by a committee that might be biased due to their former careers.

My father, CPO Ken Maslin was present at the Grapple Tests in the late 50s.

ROBIN MASLIN

Dorchester