Armed Forces Pay

Part of Opposition Day - [4TH Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 2:54 pm on 1st November 2017.

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Photo of Leo Docherty Leo Docherty Conservative, Aldershot 2:54 pm, 1st November 2017

I look forward to every single opportunity in this place to demonstrate my commitment to the armed forces, but playing the games of the Opposition will not be included in my repertoire.

I was pleased during Prime Minister’s questions to extend a warm invitation to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to visit my constituency, Aldershot, the home of the British Army, and the Aldershot garrison. In the spirit of public service and the national interest, I extend that invitation to the Leader of the Opposition. If he made time in his diary to spend time with some of the regiments we have in the garrison—including the 1st Battalion the Grenadier Guards, the 1st Battalion the Scots Guards, the 4 Rifles and the Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment—that would not only improve his turnout, but generate a greater degree of sympathy for the armed forces that he would do well to express in future.

On a slightly more serious note, the message that we send to our young men and women who are considering a career in the armed forces must be positive and upbeat. We live in a time of unparalleled global instability: the middle east is in flames; NATO is being challenged by Russia; and there is a potential nuclear conflagration in North Korea. We have huge global threats and challenges. I am very pleased that the British armed forces will be able to deliver on a global scale both hard and soft power over the coming years. We should make it very clear to the young men and women who are considering serving in the armed forces that the future is very bright. If there are any young people who are watching this debate, they should know that there are tremendous careers available in the armed forces. If they do join up, they will be doing their country proud.