Mark Lancaster MP

11 JAN 2011

Mark stands up for MK's TAs in defence debate

Mark Lancaster has been standing up for the city's Territorial Army soldiers during the Government's review of defence law.

The city MP, who is also a serving TA officer, spoke out in the House of Commons yesterday (Monday) during a debate on the Armed Forces Bill.

The Milton Keynes North MP is seeking to ensure the law honours the valuable service and improves the welfare of reservists, such as those from E Company 7th Battalion The Rifles in Blakelands and 1 Signal Squadron (38 Signal Regiment) in Bletchley.

Mr Lancaster, who served in Afghanistan in 2006, highlighted the role of the reserve armed forces, who account for up to 15 per cent of the troops out there.

He argued that the application of the new military covenant is vital to the welfare of soldiers.

He went on to highlight how TA soldiers lack the support that regular soldiers, sailors or airmen have when returning home as part of a formed unit, and emphasised the need for greater support of reservists' families.

After proposing that the three armed forces are policed by one organisation, unlike the current three, he was asked by Secretary of State Liam Fox to table amendments to the Bill.

After the debate Mr Lancaster said: "As the Armed Forces Bill is only renewed every five years, we have a golden opportunity to ensure that better provision is made for many soldiers, such as E Company 7th Battalion The Rifles and 1st Signal Squadron in Milton Keynes, who risk their lives for their country as volunteers. It is my mission to ensure this happens and as such I have put myself forward to sit on the committee that will scrutinise and amend the current Bill."

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