The Government has agreed to Labour’s calls to hold cross-party talks on ending discrimination against the Armed Forces.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has written to Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy, saying: “I would welcome a discussion with you on how we can ensure that everything we do in Parliament emphasises our cross party support for the Armed Forces and the people who serve in them”.
This follows calls from Ed Miliband and Jim Murphy to hold cross-party talks on ending discrimination, which was made when they were in Afghanistan last May.
A Motion in Parliament has received cross-party backing and a Private Members’ Bill on the issue is due to be brought before the House of Commons early next year.
Labour is calling for talks to inclu de the option of new legal rights to protect members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families against discrimination, in particular in the fields of housing, employment and harassment or abuse.
Jim Murphy MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, said:
“This is an important step forward on a crucial issue. We can all unite around the goal of ensuring no-one suffers disadvantage as a result of Service.
“Government Ministers are good at talking but action is what matters.
“We believe everything should be on the table, including the option of legal protections, which could make a real difference.
“We will work hard to ensure these talks are meaningful.”
For further information see: http://www.labour.org.uk/forces