Nuclear test veterans win leave to appeal

1484

Ex-servicemen who say they were made ill as a result of being exposed to radiation during British nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s won the latest stage of their battle for compensation.

The Supreme Court gave the 1,011 veterans permission to further argue their right to seek damages, the Press Association reported.

Veterans blame ill-health – including cancer, skin defects and fertility problems – on their involvement in British nuclear tests in Australia, on Christmas Island and in the Pacific Ocean between 1952 and 1958, Reuters reports.

The Ministry of Defence acknowledges a “debt of gratitude” but denies negligence.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court gave the veterans the go-ahead to appeal against a lower court ruling that the cases were brought too long after the events to be heard.

Their solicitor Neil Sampson told reporters after the hearing: “This is a significant step forward but it is by no means the end of the road.”

He said an average of 3-1/2 of the veterans were dying each month as the case drags on.