This week saw the Second Reading in The Lords of a Bill welcomed by the Liberal Democrats. It bears the unattractive title ‘Armed Forces (Service Complaints and Financial Assistance) Bill’ but builds towards our manifesto pledge to create a fair deal for our service personnel. A promise that has particular significance ahead of Armed Forces Day on Saturday.
The Bill deals with three matters: the creation of a Service Complaints Ombudsman; the reform of the service complaints system; and ensuring financial assistance to charities and other organisations which support the Armed Forces community.
The heads of the three Armed Forces have publicly stated their support for the Bill, but we pressed for meeting the representatives of the service chiefs and the current commissioner, so that The Lords can have their first-hand assessment. I am sometimes wary of public statements when we do not get to grips with the actual person who made the statement.
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