ROYAL Navy personnel have been offered an extra two days’ leave in recognition for this year’s hard work at the Olympics.
But it comes as it was revealed all army personnel have been given an extra five days’ holiday over the Christmas period.
Army servicemen and women have been told to take block leave from December 14 until January 7, with extra days added as a ‘thank you’ for work carried out during the London Olympics, the Diamond Jubilee and in Afghanistan.
The MoD dismissed claims it was down to cost-cutting measures to save money on energy bills.
The Royal Navy and the RAF were not given the five days extra holiday.
However personnel serving in the Royal Navy were offered an extra ‘two-day stand down’ to take as and when they choose.
Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock told The News he hoped other forces followed the army’s lead following the news.
He said: ‘It’s a nice gesture on the part of the country for the hard work they do but considering navy personnel and the marines were both involved in all the issues, including the Olympics, how can it be right they are excluded?
‘All of them deserve to get the same.
‘They are all expected to do the same job and risks where they are and it’s fair they should be given the same.
‘I hate to think of it – if Royal Navy personnel includes Royal Marines, which it does, then it’s unfair.
‘They have lost a lot of people and taken a lot of casualties.
‘If they are going to be seen to be fair on armed forces we have to treat them equally.
‘I don’t know if the army could unilaterally decide that but I hope others follow suit otherwise there is going to be angry personnel.’
The MoD said the decision to give army extra leave was in ‘recognition’ of an ‘exceptionally busy year’ on both operations and at home.
Speaking about the navy, a MoD spokesman said: ‘The normal leave regulations apply for the winter holiday.
‘All commanding officers were offered an additional two-day stand down in October to use as and when they see fit in recognition of the hard work carried out during the Olympics.’
They added extra leave is difficult to hand out over the Christmas period due to the Royal Navy’s ‘certain training cycle’ and a high percentage of personnel deployed.
It is expected up to 20 Royal Navy ships will be deployed over Christmas.