pledges success of gulf war syndrome inquiry
The Scotsman, 7 July 2004
A FORMER Lord Justice of Appeal yesterday pledged that an independent inquiry he heads into Gulf war syndrome would succeed whether or not government departments gave evidence.
Lord Lloyd of Berwick said the inquiry, funded by an anonymous donor, would examine the ill health, and in some cases deaths, of 6,000 troops following the 1990-91 conflict.
Veterans have expressed concern that the Ministry of Defence might not co-operate with the three-week inquiry, which aims to take evidence from 30 ex-servicemen, medical experts and government representatives.
Speaking ahead of the first day of evidence on Monday, Lord Lloyd said he had written to both the MoD and Ministry of Health but had only received an acknowledgement.
But he added: "They have been co-operative in the past and they, like us, are as concerned to find out the facts relating to these illnesses as everybody else."
Lord Lloyd will sit alongside Dr Norman Jones, treasurer of the Royal College of Physicians, and Sir Michael Davies, formerly Clerk of the Parliaments, and said the inquiry would be "completely independent".
The 75-year-old peer was asked to officiate by Lord Morris of Manchester, honorary parliamentary adviser to the Royal British Legion, which first called for a public inquiry in 1997.
Lord Lloyd said he hoped the hearing could render a public inquiry unnecessary.