- 17 updates
Relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq have secured a victory in the latest round of a compensation fight after the Court of Appeal said they could pursue damages claims against the Government.
Sue Smith, the mother of Private Phillip Hewett, who was killed in Iraq seven years ago at the age of 21, vowed to continue her fight against the Ministry of Defence.
She told ITV News' Daisy McAndrew: "I'm not going to let anyone beat me, Phillip wouldn't".
James Arbuthnot, the chairman of the House of Commons Defence Committee, said that today's ruling will have a "very big effect" on the Ministry of Defence (MoD). He told BBC Radio 4's The World At One:
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said of today's ruling:
Jocelyn Cockburn, who represents some of the relatives, said she will fight for her clients' right to make claims on the basis of human rights in the Supreme Court.
Three judges today upheld their right to make claims on the basis of negligence, but they agreed with an earlier decision that human rights legislation could not be used. Ms Cockburn said:
The widow of a soldier from Stoke-on-Trent who was killed in Iraq has vowed to fight on for her husband and other troops after today's ruling.
Debi Allbutt, whose husband Corporal Stephen Allbutt died in March 2003, said the legal action is "our only route to find out what really happened and to get justice".
Relatives of Private Lee Ellis are among those seeking compensation from the Ministry of Defence for allegedly not providing adequate equipment or training.
Private Ellis died in February 2006 when his Snatch Land Rover was blown up.
Similar explosions claimed the lives of two other soldiers whose families are making claims.
Jocelyn Cockburn, a lawyer representing relatives of soldiers who died in Iraq, has said today's ruling is significant because it establishes that "the Ministry of Defence has a duty of care towards its soldiers ... and that duty of care extends to ... decisions about equipment."
She also told BBC News that some of the relatives plan to appeal the ruling that they may not pursue claims using the European Convention on Human Rights.
The mother of a soldier who was killed in Iraq has described the attitude of the Ministry of Defence as "despicable".
Standing outside the Royal Courts of Justice, Sue Smith of Tamworth in Staffordshire said: "It is just so dismissive. It 'doesn't matter'. They are Action Men. If you break them, just bury them."
Mrs Smith's son, Private Phillip Hewett, was killed in Iraq seven years ago at the age of 21.
Debi Allbutt, widow of Corporal Stephen Allbutt who was killed in a "friendly fire" incident in Iraq, burst into tears when she heard about today's ruling.
She was watching the news on a big screen at Swan Bank Methodist Mission in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, with local Labour MP Joan Walley.
Ms Walley, also fighting back tears, stood up and said: "I just want to stand up and congratulate Debi for everything that you've done."
Latest ITV News reports
Relatives of soldiers killed fighting in Iraq can claim for damages for negligence against the Government, the Court of Appeal has ruled.