VETERANS may no longer have to fear prosecution for historic allegations on the battlefield after Robert Courts brought the issue to Parliament.

The Witney MP presented a petition in the House of Commons on Monday asking the government to protect military veterans from ‘spurious’ historic allegations and repeated prosecutions.

Mr Courts is calling for incidents lacking sufficient evidence to be dropped after a certain period of time, with some current investigations dating back to the 1970s.

The issue is particularly relevant to the MP’s constituency, which includes the UK’s largest air base RAF Brize Norton, and he argued the petition was overdue.

He said: “I’ve been worried for years whether we’ll get to the stage where soldiers will find it impossible to do their job because of increased amount of law in warfare.

“If they break the law then they should be held to account, but when there has been an operational investigation then that’s where things should lie.

“We ought to have something at which soldiers will know after a period of time that they won’t be investigated again.

“People will have been in incredibly difficult situations where they have put their lives on the line.”

The petition calls for a statute of limitation for veterans to prevent prosecution after a certain number of years.

Convictions would only take place when evidence has not deteriorated with time.

Mr Courts’s petition gained 1,000 signatures, with many from West Oxfordshire, while a post on his Facebook page has been viewed 24,000 times.

The Witney MP presented the petition on the first day of Armed Forces’ Week.

He was joined by fellow Conservative MPs Ranil Jayawardena and Leo Docherty, a former British army officer whose Aldershot constituency includes the Army Headquarters in Andover.

Mr Courts said: “We have achieved a combined strong message sent from the home of the British Army and the biggest RAF base.”

A government spokesperson said: “It is only due to the courageous efforts of our security forces that we have the relative peace and stability that Northern Ireland enjoys today.

“We are now consulting on new legacy institutions to replace the current flawed processes and ensure that there is no unfair and disproportionate focus on former members of the Armed Forces and police officers.

“The welfare of our personnel and veterans is of the utmost importance and we provide legal and pastoral support to any veteran who requires it.”