WITNEY MP Robert Courts hailed new plans to better protect British soldiers from historic allegations as a 'victory for West Oxfordshire'.

Mr Courts was speaking after defence secretary Penny Mordaunt today announced proposals for a 10-year veterans' amnesty, covering troops serving everywhere other than Northern Ireland.

The defence secretary said it would prevent 'repeated or unfair investigations', which the Witney MP has fought against alongside other Conservatives.

Last year, many West Oxfordshire residents signed a petition calling for a statute of limitations to prevent veterans being prosecuted after a certain number of years.

Read again: Witney MP calls for more protection for veterans

Mr Courts's constituency includes the UK's largest air base, RAF Brize Norton, and he revealed he was 'delighted' at the news.

He said: "This is a stunning victory for the people of West Oxfordshire, who have worked with me by signing my Parliamentary petition in their hundreds and have made their disgust at repeated, historic allegations against our veterans crystal clear.

"Everyone should be clear: servicemen and women do not expect to be above the law.

"They expect to be treated fairly and not to be the victims of repeated investigations, often of events that have been investigated and of which they have been cleared, years after the event with the result that those who have put everything on the line spend the rest of their lives looking over their shoulders."

Read again: Witney MP calls for protection for Northern Ireland veterans

Under the new plans, investigations against soldiers could only be reopened 'in exceptional circumstances'.

The protections, which will be put to a public consultation, would not apply to alleged offences during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

However, Ms Mordaunt said she wanted to implement 'a wider solution for the veterans community'.

Last October, Mr Courts was one of 14 MPs and peers to sign and deliver a letter to Downing Street, demanding action to halt plans to investigate Northern Ireland veterans.

Mr Courts added: “The major disappointment is that this will not apply to those who have served in Northern Ireland.

"I understand the political sensitivity and legal difficulties that arise in this case and commit to working with veterans and ministers to attempt to find a solution in the months ahead.”