Hello #Plymouth – For the last two years, I've been proud to represent Devonport and our military city in Parliament. I've fought against Conservative cuts to our Royal Navy. I want to see the Royal Marines kept in Plymouth with a new base. Labour will spend a genuine 2% of GDP on defence, and protect our armed forces.
Posted by Luke Pollard on Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Luke has welcomed Labour’s five new pledges to protect our armed services.
Luke has been working hard to make sure that our Royal Navy is protected in Plymouth. He has been campaigning to make sure that our Royal Marines remain in Plymouth after the Government announced they would sell off their spiritual home at Stonehouse Barracks. He has championed our Royal Fleet Auxiliary, and campaigned for them to get a decent pay rise after Ministers denied them one. He has led successful campaigns to save HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark from Tory cuts, base the new Type 26 frigates in Devonport, to get the new Type 31 frigates built by Babcock – and won.
Labour’s manifesto, which will be released later this month, will include five major pledges to support the forces and their families:
1. Fair Pay – scrap the public sector pay cap, which has seen a 5.8% real terms pay cut for the starting salary of an Army Private
2. Decent housing for forces and their families – end the growing reliance on the private rented sector
3. A voice for service men and women – consult on creating a representative body, similar to the Police Federation
4. End privatisation – root and branch review of outsourcing and a clear presumption in favour of public delivery of public contracts. This would include the failed armed forces recruitment contract and the shambles that is the armed forces housing contract.
5. Support for forces children – better access to schools with dedicated local authorities admissions strategy for the particular challenge of frequent school moves.
Luke Pollard said:
I am proud to be the son of a submariner. From my first ever speech in the Commons to my last one before the election I’ve made the case for our armed forces to be protected, invested in. And for Devonport to get the investment we need to continue supporting the fleet.
There’s a lot of work still to do. I started the campaign to recycle the 13 old nuclear submarines tied up alongside in Devonport, and I want that to be a priority for the coming years. I also pitched an idea I had to Ministers a while ago of designating Plymouth as the country’s centre of excellence for marine autonomy. This is the future of the Navy and I want us to be the home to autonomous units and research.
It is not just about ships and bases. I also want to see much greater support for veterans, forces families and the supply chain. There is a lot of work to do here and I think there’s a case for real change in the way our forces are supported.