Local MP calls for urgent debate on Military Covenant

November 15, 2007 2:51 PM
Honour the Brave

Mark Hunter called for a debate on the Military Covenant in support of the Royal British Legion's "Honour the Covenant" campaign

After a week of remembrance services where the country paid tribute to the lives and sacrifice of service men and women in both current and past conflicts, local MP for Cheadle Mark Hunter has asked the Leader of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP, for an urgent debate on the Military Covenant.

Mark Hunter, who has backed the Royal British Legion's "Honour the Covenant" campaign from its inception, asked for the debate in order to probe the level of Government support for troops still involved in current conflicts and those who have returned home.

The Royal British Legion's campaign is calling for greater commitment to our armed forces. Specifically they are asking for just and more generous compensations schemes for those suffering from an illness caused by their service, and those injured, or killed in the line of duty. Campaigners are also calling for greater commitment to supporting the physical and mental health of service people and their families, and for more support for bereaved service families.

The request from Mr Hunter, made during Business Questions was received positively by the Leader of the House of Commons who stated that she would consider the request further and indicated such a debate may indeed be a possibility.

Speaking after Business Questions Mr Hunter said: "In the last week I, along many others, have spent a considerable amount of time thinking about the sacrifices that many of our service men and women have made over the past years in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as those who served in past conflicts. It therefore felt particularly appropriate at this time to raise the issue of how they are being served by their country in return.

We ask so much of our armed forces yet we do not provide them with adequate equipment on the front line, proper health care both physical and mental when they are injured or ill, and enough support for their families at home.

In my view the Royal British Legion are not asking for anything that service men and women are not already entitled to. The Military Covenant states that we should look after the needs of our soldiers, but the Government has not done so adequately. Frankly they should be ashamed that they are not fulfilling this promise. A debate on this subject would put pressure on the Government to remedy this situation and give our armed forces the services and support they expect and deserve."

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