Mike Hookem has confirmed this week that he will be speaking at a rally in York against the prosecution of Northern Ireland Veterans.
[UKIP Deputy Leader Mike Hookem MEP has confirmed he will speak at the rally on the 25th August]
Mike Hookem, MEP, previously condemned the decision of a Northern Irish court to formally charge terminally-ill seventy-six-year-old Dennis Hutchings with attempted murder, as "nothing more than a political witch-hunt aimed at appeasing Republicans.”
Mr. Hookem grew up in the fishing community in the east of Hull, and enlisted in the Royal Air Force at the age of 17 for around four years. After working in various trades he rejoined the military, serving in the Royal Engineers as a Commando Engineer for a further nine years.
Organised for Saturday, 25th August, veterans will form up from 11:30 am in St. Helen’s Square and march through the City of York, followed by supporting members of the public.
The assembly is then expected to arrive back at St Helen’s Square where speeches will be delivered.
The rally was announced less than a week after only one Labour MP turned up to the debate on ending historical prosecutions of British Operation Banner Veterans in the Commons.
Recently seventy-six-year-old Ulster veteran Dennis Hutchings told the Express how eighteen police officers were sent to arrest him for attempted murder in Northern Ireland. Dennis Hutchings was grilled for nearly four days, over forty years after the alleged offence took place.
[Dennis Hutchins speaks at an earlier protest organised by Justice For Northern Ireland Veterans]
Two previous investigations cleared Mr. Hutchings of any wrongdoing. The frail veteran, who suffers from serious heart, kidney and prostate problems, told how his nightmare began early one morning in the spring of 2015 when he was cooking breakfast for his family in Cornwall. There was a knock on the door and he found eighteen policemen on his doorstep. He was arrested, charged with murder, and his house was searched in front of his bemused family before he was dragged off to Belfast.
It is thought that Dennis Hutchings is the 'guinea pig' and that many more politically motivated allegations of wrongdoing on active service could be brought before the courts
The protest has been organised by Rob Gray from York, who served during the Troubles from 1972 to 1977 with the Duke of Wellington regiment as a specialist arms and explosives detection dog handler.
[Robert Gray organiser of the York rally]
Mr. Gray made headlines in May last year when he challenged Jeremy Corbyn on the matter during his Labour Party election campaign. Corbyn was ushered away from Mr. Gray by his security team and refused to answer any of his questions.
SAS Veteran Robin Horsfall, leader of the Veterans’ And People's Party, will have a speech read out on his behalf on the day. Robin was due to speak at the event but will be undergoing treatment during August after recently being diagnosed with cancer.
We wish Robin the very best with his recovery and look forward to his party manifesto in September.
Veterans Against Terrorism, The Democratic Football Lads Alliance & UK Freedom Marches have also pledged support for what could be a huge turn out in August
Follow the event on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2078465945726193/