Ministry of Defence

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:48 pm on 26th February 2018.

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Photo of Kevan Jones Kevan Jones Labour, North Durham 6:48 pm, 26th February 2018

That situation was predictable when the system was set up. What is worse, I have heard stories about young people who have nearly got to the end of the selection process but do not get called back in, but who then get a telephone call from some Capita call centre saying, “I’m sorry, you’ve failed. That is it.” I am sorry, but that is not the way to treat people who have tried to join the armed forces.

Mr Francois makes a good point. When we had senior non-commissioned officers stationed in recruitment offices, they could work out how to handle the recruits and use their breadth of experience to explain what life in the armed forces is like. This situation could have been avoided. Unless something has changed radically in the last few years with injuries, I agree with the right hon. Gentleman. I had case in which someone had a childhood knee injury. That person had to wait six months for a decision and then the knee injury was flagged up as the reason why he could not join the armed forces. That cannot be acceptable.