Gulf war syndrome inquiry welcomed
By Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent
(Filed: 15/06/2004)

Gulf war veterans and the Royal British Legion welcomed yesterday's announcement of an independent inquiry into the range of illnesses commonly known as Gulf war syndrome.

The legion said it was delighted that the inquiry had been set up and would support it in any way it could. The Gulf War Veterans and Families Association said it welcomed the decision but was concerned that the remit might be too narrow and that the inquiry might be "a David Kelly type whitewash".

But Lord Morris of Manchester, who set up the Gulf War Illness inquiry, said he understood their suspicions but the Hutton inquiry was set up by the Government.

"The inquiry is entirely independent," he said. "It is not a parliamentary or Government inquiry, and will be conducted publicly by Lord Lloyd of Berwick, a former law lord." Alex Izett, 34, from Cumbernauld, a former soldier who says he is suffering from Gulf war syndrome and went on hunger strike last month, agreed to call off his protest after being told about the inquiry.

More than 5,000 veterans of the 1991 Gulf war are in receipt of war pensions, for a range of conditions and many are terminally ill.

External links:
Royal British Legion
The Royal British Legion is delighted at the announcement of the independent inquiry into Gulf War Illnesses, chaired by the Rt Hon the Lord Lloyd of Berwick. It calls on Gulf veterans to support the inquiry and come forward with evidence
Gulf War Veterans and Families Association