Leader will write to the government over medal

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THE leader of Portsmouth City Council has said he will write to the government to call on them to allow Arctic Convoy veterans to receive the Medal of Ushakov.

The Russian Embassy told survivors of the harrowing Second World War campaign it intends to give them the medal for their heroic role.

But as reported in The News, the British government refuses to allow it to be given to British veterans.

Today a Portsmouth city councillor, Lib Dem Cllr Michael Andrewes, will put a motion before the council asking its leader and chief executive to write to the Prime Minister and foreign office urging them to reconsider.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, the leader of the city council, said: ‘My intention is to support the motion and I am fully behind it.

‘These are people who did some of the riskiest jobs in the last war and without whom the Russians would not have had the supplies to keep fighting the Germans.

‘What possible reason could there be that the few veterans who are left should not receive this medal.’

Cllr Andrewes added: ‘I think it is outrageous the government will not allow the veterans to accept a medal from the Russian government, especially as I understand the Australian and American governments have allowed their citizens to.

‘I hope my colleagues will back my motion. I also hope the British government will themselves finally award the veterans a medal.’