A Royal Navy Merlin helicopter on Plymouth Hoe for Armed Forces Day
To mark Armed Forces Day, Luke Pollard, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate in Plymouth Sutton and Devonport said:
"Plymouth is steeped in military history and I am delighted that armed forces day invites people to pause, reflect and recognise the immense sacrifice our forces make to keep us safe. It is especially poignant to know that people up and down the country are doing so at the same time.
“It isn’t just about the individuals whose professionalism and courage we pay tribute to. Plymouth is an example of military life being a community affair. Friends and families of our servicemen, women and veterans provide immense support and contribution too.
“I am proud to be part of a Party that has pledged to outlaw discrimination against and abuse of members of the Armed Forces and to provide better support for veterans, and those making the transition from military to civilian life.”
Commitments for a future Labour Government include:
- Labour has vowed to outlaw discrimination against members of the Armed Forces if we win in 2015, promising to change the law so that a physical or verbal assault on a soldier or their family would be classed as an aggravated crime if the prosecution could establish that their service was the motive for the assault.
- The introduction of an Armed Forces Ombudsman to provide those service personnel raising a grievance against the military justice system with a means to review the chain of command’s decision independently.
- We have proposed a Veterans’ Interview Programme – already supported by many businesses – to support ex-service personnel making the transition back to civilian life.
- Labour is backing Veterans’ Champions for local authorities, naming streets after fallen heroes and a National Memorial to commemorate the conflict in Afghanistan.
- We backed the Royal British Legion’s campaign to enshrine the Military Covenant in law. We will provide funding for better mental healthcare for veterans.
- Labour launched the ‘Fighting Fitter’ programme - a national scheme, with discounts for Armed Forces in over 450 health and leisure sites across the UK. We have announced Community Trade Union as the union of UK Veterans. Labour is the only Party to offer a cut-price £1 membership for current and former members of the Armed Forces.
- Labour’sLabour’s Ambitious and Realistic Defence Vision for the Future, Vernon Coaker MP, Speech to RUSI, 24 March 2014.The full speech can be viewed at:http://press.labour.org.uk/post/80568857412/vernon-coaker-mplabours-shadow-defence-secretary