Labour activist calls for Royal British Legion to be '˜dissolved and its assets redistributed' to homeless veterans

A Labour activist has called for a military charity to be dissolved '“ as the country prepares for the centenary of the Armistice.Â

Tuesday, 6th November 2018, 2:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th November 2018, 3:31 pm
Philip Pyke, deputy organiser for the Portsmouth Poppy Appeal, Kenneth Slater, Portmouth Poppy Appeal volunteer and member of the Royal British Legion at Portsmouth South branch, Louise Purcell, organiser of the Portsmouth Poppy Appeal and Chris Purcell, president of the Royal British Legion at Portsmouth South branch, at the shop in Fratton. Picture: Sarah Standing
Philip Pyke, deputy organiser for the Portsmouth Poppy Appeal, Kenneth Slater, Portmouth Poppy Appeal volunteer and member of the Royal British Legion at Portsmouth South branch, Louise Purcell, organiser of the Portsmouth Poppy Appeal and Chris Purcell, president of the Royal British Legion at Portsmouth South branch, at the shop in Fratton. Picture: Sarah Standing

Aaron Bastani, co-founder of Novara Media, suggested that the Royal British Legion (RBL) be shut down and its assets '˜redistributed' to homeless veterans. 

Mr Bastani announced on October 29 that he would be moving to Portsmouth and would be campaigning for Labour, saying it would be '˜brilliant seeing Tories lose south coast at next GE'. 

The Royal British Legion, which was founded following the end of the First World War, leads the annual poppy appeal for Remembrance Sunday. 

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Posting on Twitter yesterday, Mr Bastani proposed the Royal British Legion should be dissolved.

He tweeted: '˜I care about veterans. That's why I think the Royal British legion should be dissolved with it's £300 million of fixed assets redistributed to Britain's 13,000 homeless ex service personnel. 

'Surely that makes more sense than the face it pays more than 24 people 60k a year?' 

What is the Royal British Legion? 

Philip Pyke, deputy organiser for the Portsmouth Poppy Appeal, Kenneth Slater, Portmouth Poppy Appeal volunteer and member of the Royal British Legion at Portsmouth South branch, Louise Purcell, organiser of the Portsmouth Poppy Appeal and Chris Purcell, president of the Royal British Legion at Portsmouth South branch, at the shop in Fratton. Picture: Sarah Standing

Founded in 1921 as a voice for the ex-service community following the First World War. 

It was formed through the merging of three separate groups the Comrades of the Great War, the National Association of Discharged Sailors and Soldiers and the National Federation of Discharged and Demobilized Sailors and Soldiers. 

The newly formed Royal British Legion ordered 9 million poppies and sold them in the first poppy appeal on November 11, 1921. 

The charity helps to provide lifelong support for the Armed Forces community - including Royal Navy - serving men and women, veterans, and their families.

The Royal British Legion has six care homes - including Mais House in East Sussex '“ which would be included in the '˜fixed assets' that the tweet suggested should be '˜redistributed'. 

The charity also works with Dementia UK to provide Admiral Nurses - a service that supports the carers of its beneficiaries who have dementia.

The focus of the service is to maintain independence and improve the quality of life for carers and families and to provide the practical advice they need.