MoD appoints Lord Ashcroft as Tsar for military veterans

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CPO Martin Owen helps Meon Junior School pupils with their Lego robots. Picture by Malcolm Wells

Navy engineers help students to perfect their Lego robots

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TORY peer Lord Ashcroft has been named as a forces Tsar to review the support on offer for service personnel returning to civilian life.

He has been appointed as the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Veterans’ Transition and will work across several departments in the unpaid role.

His focus will be on strengthening the support for sailors, soldiers and airmen leaving the forces.

He may also be involved in addressing historic medal claims from Arctic Convoy veterans once an independent review of the honours system is completed by Sir John Holmes this autumn.

Lord Ashcroft will advise the Prime Minister, defence secretary and the cabinet on issues affecting service personnel and veterans.

The new position comes after the former veterans minister Andrew Robathan was promoted – much to the dismay of Arctic veterans who called for him to be sacked after he insulted them in a Commons debate.

Defence secretary Philip Hammond said Lord Ashcroft had ‘a long-standing and deep interest in the armed forces and a track record of support for veterans’.