Tuesday, 30 March 2010

‘Time to do your bit’ as parliamentary hopeful pledges support for HM Armed Forces

Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Makerfield has pledged to do their bit for Britain’s Armed Forces.

Yvonne Fovargue and Labour's parliamentary candidate for Wigan, Lisa Nandy visited the new home of the Wigan Borough Veteran Council (WBVC) in Platt Bridge and met with veteran leaders in the borough.

The Royal British Legion has called on parliamentary candidates to support the whole Armed Forces family. The manifesto sets out priorities for the next Government to improve conditions for the British Armed Forces past and present and their families. It encourages prospective parliamentary candidates (PPCs) to “do their bit” for Service Personnel and their families, the bereaved, veterans and dependants.

Mel Lee of the Ashton branch of the Royal British Legion said, “I am delighted that Yvonne and Lisa have pledged today to do their bit. This is a great way of showing their support for the whole Armed Forces family.

“Both the serving and ex-Service community need the support of politicians and our manifesto outlines practical ways the next government can help, and we hope that, if elected, both Yvonne and Lisa will give it serious consideration”.

Lisa Nandy said, “I was really pleased to get my pledge card from the Legion. I know the work they do for the whole Armed Forces family matters not just to me, but to so many local people as well. It’s so important we all get behind them and that’s why I had no hesitation in pledging to do my bit.”

WBVC have also launched a campaign to extend the eligibility criteria for the popular Veteran Lapel badge. Currently, a posthumous award can only be sanctioned if the widow/widower of the deceased veteran is in receipt of a war widows pension.

In practice this means that many widows/widowers miss out on the award of the lapel badge. Both Lisa and Yvonne have pledged to campaign to end this restriction so that widows/widowers can receive the badge.

Yvonne Fovargue said, “The lapel badge has been a tremendous success and it is a common sight to see veterans proudly wearing the badge as they go about their daily business."

“Wigan Borough Veterans Council have rightly pointed out the current restriction and we will campaign to extend the eligibility criteria.”