Hugo Charlton, Green Party prospective parliamentary candidate for Kensington and Chelsea, challenged Michael Portillo, as an ex-minister of Defence, to speak up for the Gulf War veterans who are being let down by this Labour government.

"Regardless of who is to blame for allowing British forces to be exposed to hazardous substances or subject to over-medication," said Mr Charlton, "It is the responsibility of this government to provide adequate compensation and an explanation as to the possible causes. The veterans rightly feel that without a public inquiry their cause will be buried by Ministry of Defence obfuscation."

Mr Charlton, who was in the Territorial Army for seven years, said "It is absurd to go to great lengths to avoid deaths in the field, but to do nothing about the lives that have been ruined as a result of medical conditions arising from military service. It is all very well to praise the boys and be all gung ho in the patriotic excitement of a war, but it is disgraceful for the Ministry of Defence to subsequently attempt to avoid the consequences of their actions. It is yet another example of how completely this Labour administration has fallen under the spell of the Whitehall mandarins."

french action over beef l response to Portillo l illegality of Trident
Jack Straw's Regime l Labour's commitment? I Gordon Brown and the New Deal
High Court and GM food I Lords Reform I Gulf War Veterans
The Queen's Speech I Local opinion on Portillo