Veterans Care Sector: Government Role

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:27 pm on 25th October 2016.

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Photo of Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer Chair, Defence Sub-Committee, Chair, Defence Sub-Committee 6:27 pm, 25th October 2016

I sense that my hon. Friend is beginning to wind up his speech. Before he does so, let me thank him for his response, and also point out that it is imperative, as far as Conservative Members are concerned, that we do everything on the basis of the evidence that is presented to us. We can talk persistently about the fact that the armed forces covenant is working or about veterans care, but it is clear from the strength of the attendance in the Chamber this evening and from the stories that emerge each week that the current system is not working as well as it should.

I understand why my hon. Friend dismissed my proposal for a Department for Veterans Affairs, but such Departments work elsewhere. My proposal is not based on the United States model; it is completely different. I ask him not to close his mind to the concept, because I think that until we do something like that and fundamentally change the present position, we will not stop the haemorrhage of bad veterans care in this country.