Veterans' threat to VE Day

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The Independent Online
Second World War veterans are threatening to boycott the Government's VE Day celebrations in May unless the controversial murder conviction of Northern Ireland paratrooper Lee Clegg is quashed.

Clegg, now 26, was sentenced to life for the killing of a 19-year-old girl during an incident at an Army checkpoint in the province nearly five years ago.

Colonel Leonard Fitzroy-Smith has said that Parachute Regiment Association branches and at least one Royal British Legion branch had already come forward to support a boycott.

"They feel it would be two-faced to support the Government's VE-Day celebrations if Pte Clegg is still in prison," said Col Fitzroy-Smith.

"This is the spontaneous reaction of branches over just a few days since the House of Lords turned down his appeal," added Col Fitzroy-Smith, who is from Darlington and is helping to organise support.

A formidable team of former Para officers will unveil details tomorrow of what they claim are inconsistencies in the original court case and new forensic evidence.