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Labour will be a government of service for those who serve

By 29 June 2024No Comments
Photo: Stephen Morgan

Keir Starmer pledges today (Saturday 29 June) that his changed Labour Party “will be a government of service, for those who serve’ confirming that Labour will “always ensure that those who defend our country have their voices heard at the highest level” with Labour’s new Armed Forces Commissioner.

The Labour leader and Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey will mark Armed Forces Day by joining a veterans’ coffee morning in the South East of England, where the pair will pay tribute to the entire Armed Forces community and outline how the next Labour government will demonstrate that tribute through action.

Keir Starmer will announce new powers for Labour’s planned Armed Forces Commissioner to enable them to act as a strong champion for our forces and their families to improve everyday service life.

Keir Starmer will use Armed Forces Day to announce new powers for the Commissioner, including the ability to investigate and report on issues which affect the lives of service personnel and their ability to serve – such as sub-standard housing, faulty kit, and poor discharge support.

Provision will also be made for the right to visit and inspect Ministry of Defence sites without needing prior approval from the Defence Secretary.

These powers will allow the Commissioner to take an unvarnished look at the issues affecting our forces personnel and their families – without fear or favour.

Keir Starmer will also confirm that the new Armed Forces Commissioner will be independent, outside the chain of command and report to Parliament not to ministers.

Armed Forces Day was established by the last Labour government as a time to celebrate the country’s pride in our Armed Forces personnel, veterans, and those who support them.

Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party, said:

“As we mark Armed Forces Day, I am proud to say that if we are privileged to serve, my Labour government will demonstrate our respect and thanks, in action for our forces communities.

We will legislate in our first year for an Armed Forces Commissioner to act as a strong champion for our forces and their families. The Commissioner will help to renew the moral contract with those who serve our nation, and the families who support them.

“This changed Labour Party will always back our forces. We’ll always ensure that those who defend our country have their voices heard at the highest level.”

John Healey, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, said:

“The first duty of any Government is to keep the nation safe and protect its citizens.

“Our new independent Armed Forces Commissioner will have the powers to investigate and report on things which affect the everyday lives of those who serve – such as substandard housing, faulty kit or poor support ahead of discharge. We will look after our forces, just as they look after us”.

Stephen Morgan, Labour candidate for Portsmouth South, added:

“I am deeply proud of our Armed Forces personnel, veterans, and their families for the contribution they make to our country.

We know only too well here in the heart and home of the Royal Navy, the bravery and sacrifice personnel, veterans and their families make to keep us safe. Theirs is the ultimate public service – and their professionalism and bravery is rightly respected across the world.

Labour’s plans will make sure their views and needs are championed and met”.