Portsmouth MP launches survey to improve lives of veterans and armed forces charities

VETERANS, charities and support groups are all being invited to share their thoughts on the support network available to them.

By David George
Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 8:18 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th June 2021, 2:33 pm

Labour MP for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan has launched the party’s local veterans survey for members of the armed forces community in Portsmouth, forming part of a key debate being led by the MP in Westminster over the government’s Armed Forces Bill.

Mr Morgan believes the government has been cutting help for veterans and failing on their pledge to forces personnel to put the Armed Forces Covenant, a charter designed to ensure the armed forces personnel and their families are treated fairly, fully into law.

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Stephen Morgan MP. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (060619-20)

He said: ‘The bill piles new and vague legal responsibilities to deliver the covenant on a wide range of public bodies, but mysteriously these do not apply to central government.

‘In practice, this would create a farcical reality where the chair of school governors has a legal responsibility to have ‘due regard’ to the Armed Forces Covenant, but government departments - including the Ministry of Defence – would not.

‘Ministers must not be allowed to outsource the delivery of the important promises of the Armed Forces Covenant.’

The shadow armed forces minister claims he will widen the scope of the government bill, to properly deliver on the promises laid out by the covenant.

He wishes to address areas like employment, pensions and social care, while improving service justice by pushing for rape and serious offences to be tried in civilian courts.

‘As a nation we have a responsibility to all of our citizens; particularly those who put their lives at risk to keep us safe,’ he added.

‘One veteran who doesn't get the support they need is one too many. We cannot let anyone slip through the cracks.

‘That’s why this Armed Forces Week I am launching Labour’s local veterans’ survey in Portsmouth to hear from local veterans and veterans’ charities about their experiences – as I continue today to work to secure the support they deserve from the government’s Armed Forces Bill.’

To take part in the MP’s survey, veterans can go to action.labour.org.uk.

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