Labour to campaign for Veterans Champions in Local Authorities

Jim Murphy MP, Jon Cruddas MP and Cllr Liam Smith launcing Veterans Champions at Barking and Dagenham Council.
Jim Murphy MP, Jon Cruddas MP and Cllr Liam Smith launcing Veterans Champions at Barking and Dagenham Council.

Today, Labour is launching a campaign to urge Local Authorities to have Veterans Champions, a dedicated person at each council to help service-leavers resettle in to civilian life.

Jim Murphy is visiting Barking and Dagenham Council today to launch the campaign, where Barking and Dagenham Council are announcing that the Council Leader will take on responsibility as Cabinet Member for the Armed Forces.

Labour Councils up and down the country are today also announcing that they are appointing Veterans Champions.

Labour will encourage Labour-controlled councils to ensure there is an individual with responsibility to support service-leavers. Specific details will be a decision for each Leader subject to local circumstance. Labour will also urge Labour Groups to campaign for non-Labour councils to do similar.

Jim Murphy MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, said:

“Our country is brilliant at turning civilians into soldiers, but we are not good enough when the time comes to turning soldiers back into civilians.

“Transition from military to civilian life can be difficult and distressing. A one-stop-shop for access to services and entitlements would make an enormous difference.

“A Veterans Champion would help those who have performed heroics overseas find a new home or job back home.

“Each council could take this step in a way that best serves local needs. We want to strengthen the bond between civilian and military communities, making the Military Covenant a reality for everyone.”

Hilary Benn MP, Labour’s Shadow Local Government Secretary, said:

“Local Government has a big part to play in supporting our veterans as they return to civilian life. From giving advice on finding a home or a job to community groups that renew old friendships and help make new ones, councils and communities have a special responsibility to assist the men and women we hold in such esteem for their courage and their service to our nation.”

Further details can be found on Labour List and in Nick Hopkin’s Guardian article.

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2 thoughts on “Labour to campaign for Veterans Champions in Local Authorities

  1. Our service veterans are not returning to civilian life, they are being forced into civilian life and they deserve a lot better. We need a national security force in this country like they do in America so, why make our hero’s redundant? Lets have a national security force made up of our experience veterans. By doing this our veterans would still be employed and they could help the police to deal with antisocial behaviour or even riots. I cannot think of anyone more capable than our trained veterans to deal with this kind of work!

    Laurence Mann (Labour Member) London

  2. I completely agree with the statement about integrating soldiers back into civilian life and think it is a great idea to have veterans champions. I have seen often how, when soldiers get back home it is extremely difficult for them to adjust and firmly believe they should get all the help they deserve after fighting for their country.

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