New Shadow Armed Forces Minister speaks up for troops and their families over Covid-19 cases from despatch box during defence questions today.
Probing Ministers over any support offered to overseas troops and the figures relating to personnel infection rates, Stephen Morgan MP today demanded contingency planning from Ministers setting out how they would support personnel and their families stationed in areas likely to see outbreaks of Covid-19.
The Shadow Armed Forces Minister said: “Our troops have rightly continued their duties overseas for the duration of this pandemic, keeping our citizens safe and helping to maintain international peace.
With personnel operating in countries such as Iraq, where there has been a spike in Covid-19 deaths and where there is a lack of infrastructure capable of effectively managing the pandemic, we need to see firm contingency plans that prioritise troop safety.
That is why today I put pressure on Ministers to outline their plans to protect troops along with their families while they serve our nation abroad. They are continuing to deliver for the nation. It is important government delivers for them.”
The city MP’s action over overseas troop Covid-19 data comes on the same day that government has abandoned its commitment to a daily figure for the number of people in the UK who have been tested for the virus.
Today’s action holding Minister to account over troop welfare is part of a wider piece of work being conducted by the Shadow Armed Forces Minister, and the Shadow Defence team. Already Labour’s Defence teams’ efforts helped lead to the testing of all 800 crew on board HMS Queen Elizabeth following 2 confirmed Covid cases, lobbying efforts have been carried out to allow families of service people more comprehensive support networks, and work is being conducted to shine a light on dwindling morale and satisfaction.
Stephen Morgan MP added: “Whether considering the efforts of our forces community at home helping combat Covid-19 or personnel continuing to protect national security overseas, the fact remains that our troops are of great value to our society.
With the Tories downgrading defence over the last 10 years with shrinking numbers, reduced capability and offering unfair pay, it is vital that opposition ask the tough questions that have our troops interests in mind.
The Shadow Defence team will continue to take action on the concerns of our forces community and work as the checks and balances to government decision making that for too long has neglected our troops interests.”