At the beginning of the term the Clegg government took the controversial decision to abolish the Minister for Veterans Affairs which had been set up in the first Blurple government. Both the Libertarians and Labour pledged in their manifestos to retain the role. Earlier in the term the MP for Black Country and LPUK Defence spokesperson tabled a motion urging the government to reinstate the position. The motion passed 48 votes to 45 with a turnout of 99%.
Since then the government has been quiet on the issue and has not responded to the motion’s passage. The Leader of the LPUK questioned the Prime Minister on this motion on the 28th May. The Prime Minister told the House of Commons that he did not believe that the appointment of a Veterans’ Minister is especially relevant or useful when such a role can be adequately fulfilled by the Secretary of State for Defence. He also said the composition of the government was best left to the government and not parliament when he justified ignoring parliament on this matter.
The appointment of a space force minister into the MOD has raised some eyebrows in Westminster and is especially controversial considering the government’s stance on the veterans affairs motion. Earlier this evening markthemonkey888 wrote a letter to the Defence Secretary attacking the government fiercely. He accused the government of using the welfare of veterans as a political football and putting their welfare on the line. He said the government’s moves were blatantly disrespectful to veterans.
The Telegraph asked the Leader Of The Opposition to comment and they spoke to us:
“It is quite disheartening to see that the Conservative Party have ignored the will of parliament by deciding to not follow M481 and re-establish the position of Minister of State for Veterans Affairs, however considering that previous motions haven’t been responded to in a satisfactory manner by this government in the past I am not surprised that they’ve continued to ignore M481.
At the same time I believe that the people are starting to recognise this negative attitude from the Conservatives and their recent decline in the national opinion polls indicates that people are growing tired of this behaviour and warming up to the positive vision that is being proposed by the Labour Party.”ARichTeaBiscuit
The LPUK Defence spokesperson markthemonkey888 told the Telegraph that’s it” an absolute shame that the Tories claim to represent veterans yet purposefully ignore a motion passed by the House of Commons. The government needs to step up and start being accountable to the house and the British people”
The Defence Secretary told the Telegraph the following:
“As a former Minister for Veterans’ Affairs myself, I am capable of, and passionate, about, standing up for the rights of veterans as the Secretary of State. I have been taking a personal lead on our veterans policy and do not require a junior minister to assist in that duty.”
The government is often finding itself at loggerheads with parliament and with the tories tumbling in the polls sliding behind Labour, it’s clear they have a tough few weeks coming up ahead with a collapse in the Northern Ireland Exec and a Justice devolution referendum. The Telegraph will be here to cover the news and turmoil in Westminster.