Armed Forces Day 2020 is a chance to celebrate the pride we have in the excellence and professionalism of our service men and women. And it is a day we can all say ‘thank you’ for the special service they give to our country.
Labour recognises the need to rebuild public trust on defence and security. That’s why on this Armed Forces Day, Labour are launching the most ambitious series of events on defence and security through Labour Friends of the Forces – with events in every nation and region of the country over the next month – to listen to the Armed Forces community.
We want to speak to service personnel, families, veterans, reservists, charity workers and volunteers, as well as people who work in our vitally important defence industry, to hear their hopes and aspirations, as well as the problems they face after a decade of declining numbers, morale and pay.
This important dialogue will begin on Saturday the 27th June with an event which members and supporters are invited to join. Further events in every nation and region will follow in the coming weeks.
Marking the 14th anniversary of Labour introduced Armed Forces Day and against the backdrop of a decade of Tory failure to invest in defence, Labour’s leadership has supported the relaunch of a renewed Labour Friends of Forces (LFF).
With a new offer to members, fresh mission statement and support from the Labour leader, LFF has set out how exactly it will create an effective forum for bolstering the party’s connection with the force’s community and winning back the public’s faith Labour’s stance on defence.
Shadow Armed Forces Minister, Stephen Morgan MP said:
“While the challenges faced by our nation continue to change through the ages, one thing remains the same – the immeasurable value of our troops. Labour stands four-square behind our Armed Forces, their families and our veterans. But we have to be in listening mode. To win back the trust of the public and that of our troops, we need to ensure we are open and engaging with the communities we are seeking to serve. With the new programme of events, offer to members and support of the leadership, this idea of listening will be at the core of everything Labour Friends of the Forces stands for.”
This year’s Armed Forces Day comes against a backdrop of Tory defence failure. Troop pay increases have been delayed for a second year running, for the fourth consecutive year the Ombudsman has found a vastly underperforming complaints system, and satisfaction along with morale has been declining for a decade as the armed forces continuous attitudes survey has revealed.
And, the current administration is not just failing the troops themselves. A decade of crude Tory defence cuts has left the Army alone falling 8,000 personnel short of the Government’s own targets.
Labour Friends of the Forces has announced a renewed offer to its members including:
– Direct line to frontbench Shadow Defence team
– Programme of events spanning every region across the UK
– Cut-rate membership
– Access to a group of other individuals interested in defence
The mission statement of LFF is to build the party’s relationship with serving personnel, veterans and their families; nurture and identify future candidates from a military background; improve the party’s understanding of issues effecting the service community; and create a forum for training, discussion and development for the group’s membership.