Ahead of Armed Forces Day on Saturday, Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East, has paid tribute to our Armed Forces for all they do to keep Britain safe and has called for the government to fully incorporate the Armed Forces Covenant into law.
Praising Oxfordshire County Council for being one of the signatories to the Armed Forces Covenant, she called for the Government to take further action to support servicemen and women, and incorporate the Covenant into law. This would give its commitments real ‘teeth’ which are not in force at the moment.
Oxfordshire has a proud connection to our armed forces, with five major military bases and 25% of the UK’s RAF personnel based in the county.
From deployments abroad in response to the invasion of Ukraine, to deployments at home during the COVID 19 pandemic, our Armed Forces are essential to our national defence, our national resilience and our national NATO obligations.
But over the last 13 years, the Conservatives have corroded the nation’s moral contract with those who serve in our Armed Forces. Personnel and their families are living in damp and mouldy housing, satisfaction with service life has fallen well below 50 per cent, and retention rates are dropping.
Labour wants the government to ensure our heroes have good homes to live in and fully incorporate the Armed Forces Covenant into law. Labour would also strengthen support for veterans, with a boost to specialist support and a plan to bring down waiting times for veterans’ mental health services as part of a £1bn commitment to ensure everyone receives treatment within a month.
Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East, said:
“This Armed Forces Day I want to pay tribute to the members of our armed forces, their families and our veterans, both in Oxfordshire and across the country.
“The Labour Party is deeply proud of our Armed Forces personnel, veterans, and their families – over 11,000 of whom live in Oxfordshire – for the enormous contribution they make. On Armed Forces Day, we thank them for all they do to keep Britain safe.
“The next Labour Government will stand by Britain’s tight-knit military community. We will boost mental health support, ensure our heroes have good homes to live in and fully incorporate the Armed Forces Covenant into law.”