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Anger over time limit on soldiers’ injury claims amid warnings new laws will block compensation bids

New laws aimed at protecting British troops from relentless legal witch-hunts will block soldiers’ own injury claims, Labour warns today.

Defence spokesman John Healey said parts of a new bill amounted to ‘penny-pinching’ because they put a time limit on compensation claims from UK forces.

It means soldiers who have suffered life-changing trauma could find it more difficult to seek compensation.

New laws aimed at protecting British troops from relentless legal witch-hunts will block soldiers' own injury claims (file photo)

New laws aimed at protecting British troops from relentless legal witch-hunts will block soldiers' own injury claims (file photo)

New laws aimed at protecting British troops from relentless legal witch-hunts will block soldiers’ own injury claims (file photo)

Figures uncovered by Labour reveal the Ministry of Defence could save millions from future claims when the Overseas Operations Bill becomes law.

The bill, which will be debated in the Commons tomorrow, puts a five-year time limit on claims against British soldiers by insurgents or civilians.

Ministers hope this will end the relentless ‘vexatious’ legal probes that soldiers have faced for more than a decade after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But Labour says the bill also puts a six-year deadline on compensation claims against the MoD brought by troops or their families for injuries and loss while posted overseas.

Defence spokesman John Healey (above) said parts of a new bill amounted to 'penny-pinching' because they put a time limit on compensation claims from UK forces

Defence spokesman John Healey (above) said parts of a new bill amounted to 'penny-pinching' because they put a time limit on compensation claims from UK forces

Defence spokesman John Healey (above) said parts of a new bill amounted to ‘penny-pinching’ because they put a time limit on compensation claims from UK forces

Labour said the bill will ‘deny troops serving overseas the same employment rights as everyone they serve to defend back home’. 

The party wants claims from troops themselves to be exempt from the time limits. 

Mr Healey said: ‘This is an ‘MoD protection bill’ that will block rightful claims from our own British troops when the MoD fails them. It’s penny-pinching.’

The MoD said: ‘The changes to the time limits for bringing claims are needed to stop service personnel and veterans having to repeatedly give evidence in relation to historical incidents.’

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