The leader of the Arctic Medal campaign today welcomed the Government’s announcement of an award - but asked why the decision had taken so long.
Commander Eddie Grenfell said: ‘‘We have been fighting since 1997 for a proper campaign medal.
‘ Of course I am pleased that we will have won the fight, but why did it have to take so long? And during that time, how many of my colleagues have died, which I think is disgusting.
‘The Conservative party in opposition came to see me in 2003, it was Iain Duncan Smith, and he told me that if there was ever a Conservative government they would give us the medal.
‘The next year Michael Howard came, and he said the same thing, and here we are all these years later.
‘I have had so many noncommittal letters from the government.
‘And The News should be recognised for its part in this as well, it has done so much for us.’