THE Chancellor has vowed to give his backing to veterans and the armed forces as he was mobbed by Labour supporters in Portsmouth yesterday.
Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, arrived in Old Portsmouth to chants of ‘Tories Out.’
During the visit to the Hot Walls, he was introduced to The Company of Makers – a company that specialises in turning the attire of the armed forces into cushions, aprons and chair covers.
He was then quizzed on how the government is helping veterans after The News revealed yesterday that scores in Portsmouth were dealing with alcohol addiction.
Mr Hammond said: ‘It is definitely true that some ex-military personnel struggle with their transition post-service. However, we know that many of them have skills which are very valuable and the majority of them do very well.
‘It is an urban myth to say that all veterans struggle with their transition after service.’
The Conservatives have always been the party that champions our armed forcesPhilip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Company of Makers are currently providing a service to boost veteran’s skills by getting them involved in workshops. These range from making wooden chairs to helping in the restoration of iconic Falklands vessel Foxtrot 8.
Mr Hammond said: ‘We should absolutely by championing businesses like this who help provide veterans with new skills.’
In regards to ensuring the defence budget, he said: ‘We have made a clear commitment regarding defence that spending will equal 2 per cent of our GDP in addition to real time increases of 0.5 percent annually.
‘This shows real commitment. The Conservatives have always been the party that champions our armed forces.’
Mr Hammond proceeded to then attack Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, telling The News: ‘He has no belief and support for our armed forces. I do not think that those in our armed forces will have a difficult choice to make this election.’
In response to the comments, Councillor Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth’s Labour leader and candidate for Portsmouth South said: ‘Hammond being parachuted in from London shows the Tories’ campaign must be in trouble in our city. His remarks are rich considering the Tories promised to bring back shipbuilding to the city only a couple years ago.
‘The Tories have categorically failed the city with their broken promises.’