Local MP Alex Cunningham has demanded that the Prime Minister fulfil his promise to our Armed Services to enshrine the Military Covenant in law – something the British Legion says he is failing to do.
Alex today received a letter from the Royal British Legion which makes clear their serious disappointment at the Government’s refusal to do so.
Alex, who is sitting on the Armed Forces Bill Committee, has spent many weeks listening to evidence on this topic and debating the issue in Committee. He said:
“Last June in front of Armed Forces personnel on HMS Ark Royal the Prime Minister promised to write the Military Covenant into the law of the land.”
“The Armed Forces Bill now before Parliament introduces an Annual Covenant Report which Ministers claim fulfils this pledge since the word ‘Covenant’ is used in law for the first time. There is, however, no legal definition of that term and therefore the British Legion is clear that this does not fulfil the pre-election pledge.”
“The Director General of the British Legion has written to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, Rt Hon Andrew Robathan MP, accusing him of selectively quoting British Legion evidence to the Committee during a Commons debate on 16th February and giving the impression the Legion was happy with the Government proposals.
The British Legion make it clear in the letter that they are not happy with the compromise put forward by the Government and wants to see the Military Covenant enshrined in law.”
“It is clear that this is another in a long list of Broken Promises from this Tory-led Government. I and my Labour colleagues will continue to stand up for our brave servicemen and women who simply want the Prime Minister to honour the pledge he made to them in June. Our Armed Forces deserve nothing less.”