The Mirror is backing the ‘Nuke blood scandal’ campaign for servicemen to access blood records after the news brand uncovered documents proving British nuclear experiments were conducted on UK and Commonwealth citizens
The publisher’s investigation found hundreds of documents spanning half a century are being withheld by the Atomic Weapons Establishment, a department inside the Ministry of Defence.
The campaign supports affected veterans’ legal battles to sue the government for blood records that may explain subsequent health issues such as cancer, miscarriages and birth defects without any known cause or cure. The government has insisted these records do not exist and has demanded veterans provide the proof themselves.
The veterans’ campaign has raised over £23,000 so far to fund legal action against the government.
The Mirror shed new light onto the scandal on Remembrance Day last year, when it called upon the government to launch a public enquiry into whether lost medical records that could have given veterans better access to treatment constitutes a criminal conspiracy by the state against them.
In September 2023, defence minister Andrew Murrison continued to deny the existence of such documents; the Mirror’s investigation found they were in their government’s possession a day later.
Campaigner Alan Owen, denied access to his father’s medical records from the period he witnessed 24 hydrogen bombs in 78 days, told the Mirror: “The veterans have always known they were human guinea pigs, and nobody but the Mirror believed them. We now have the proof, and the lawyers to back it up.
“The survivors are in their 80s and this is their last chance at wringing the truth out of the MoD. Their descendants carry the genetic legacy of the tests, and it’s time to pay up.”
Those affected have come closer to justice through four decades of perseverance and persistent investigative journalism by Mirror reporters behind the investigation, including the most recent to take over, Susie Boniface.
The campaign’s task has been made more difficult by the disconnect between the testimonies of those affected and official responses from the Ministry of Defence, which have continued to provide denials despite the mounting case built up against them.
The breakthrough came in 2018 when the news brand started fighting for a medal for the veterans. Along the way, it found the proof that was hidden: the ‘nuked blood files’.
Boniface said: “Finally, 70 years after the first tests, and thanks in large part to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Data Protection Act 2018 which gave the veterans rights to see documents previously withheld, we’ve proved that the MoD has had the evidence it demanded the veterans find all along.
“Our next task is to force the MoD to provide it to them, and answer all the questions they’ve suffered with for decades. And the most important one of all: why?”
Read more about the ‘Nuke blood scandal’ campaign here.