City MP pitches policy idea to improve Armed Forces Covenant

Stephen Morgan MP pitches policy idea to Defence Secretary that would help Armed Forces Covenant give more teeth

The Portsmouth South MP has written to his neighbour in the north of the city, Defence Secretary Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP, with a an idea that would see the current Armed Forces Covenant given more teeth, more scope and more depth.

Mr Morgan has backed a call for the introduction of an Armed Forces Ombudsman that would monitor the standards of care given by public services to our armed forces community.

Mr Morgan has said:

“In my role as an MP in the home to the Royal Navy, and on the Public Accounts Committee, I am fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with both serving personnel and veterans. When it comes to the covenant, the messages are clear, it does not go far enough, and it lacks clout. 

An ombudsman could help combat these inadequacies by introducing a regulatory body that can oversee and invigilate the standards of public services when they deal with our armed forces.

It would give these brave people a platform to raise complaints and would provide reassurances to regions where the delivery of the covenant is not up to scratch. It is the least we owe to the people who devote their lives to keeping us safe.”

Portsmouth has been given a gold standard review with regard to the delivery of their Armed Forces Covenant.

Despite this, Mr Morgan has been signposting areas where society could do more to improve the standard of service given to serving and ex serving troops. It is not the first time Mr Morgan has called on the Government to do more.

Mr Morgan added:

“For some time now, I have been calling for the covenant to be more far reaching and to include a nationwide mentoring service, to implement training not just for veterans but employers, increased investment in specialised mental health treatment, an extended transition period, and proper enforcement across the country.

The introduction of an Ombudsman to oversee the administration of the covenant would be a step in the right direction when it comes to giving it more teeth and would show that we as a nation are serious about prioritising our forces community.”

Mr Morgan’s policy proposal is to introduce an Armed Forces Ombudsman as part of wider campaign aimed at improving the wellbeing of our service personnel.

He has hosted a Westminster Hall debate on getting coroners to record veteran suicide, has written out to all coroners in the country, regularly meets with veterans’ organisations in his constituency and has written to both the PM and the Defence Secretary a number of times in relation to armed forces access to public services.