Outrage of war widows who face pension cut

Click to follow

The families of dead servicemen said they were outraged yesterday at news that the Ministry of Defence would cut the pensions of widows who successfully sue the Government.

A representative for Military Families Against The War said they would be consulting lawyers to see how to prevent penalising those who pursue legal action for negligence.

"The MFAW campaign is absolutely outraged by the MoD trying to intimidate families of people who have lost loved ones in Iraq," Chris Nineham said. "It is part of a policy to try to silence people and stop them pursing justice, stop people speaking out over the war."

Beverley Clarke, whose son Trooper David Clarke, 19, was killed with Corporal Stephen Allbutt, 35, when their tank was hit by another Challenger II in 2003, called it "disgraceful".

Mrs Clarke said she would not be affected by the cut in pensions but she had to consider Cpl Allbutt's wife Debbi.

Samantha Roberts, whose husband Sergeant Steven Roberts, 33, was killed by "friendly fire" during a riot after being forced to hand over his body armour, is awaiting a payout after a rare successful claim for compensation.

"This policy is disgusting, it's immoral," she said. "My husband made the ultimate sacrifice and now the MoD is quibbling over a small amount of money."

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: "There is no policy change. If they receive compensation and part of that is loss of support, that element of the pension for loss of support is deducted. In effect, they are getting the same thing from the same department but we cannot pay it twice."