Results 1–20 of 3000 for in the 'Commons debates' speaker:Ben Wallace

Valedictory Debate (24 May 2024)

Ben Wallace: We do not have time for me to share all my anecdotes about my experiences during my 19 years of being a Member of Parliament. I could tell the House about my trip to Iran with Jeremy Corbyn and Jack Straw, which was like something out of Monty Python—I turned out to be the most pro-European of the three, and it was a certainly an extraordinary experience—or about the touching and...

Valedictory Debate (24 May 2024)

Ben Wallace: One of the lessons I learned when I was first elected to the Scottish Parliament in 1999—it was a bit like being behind enemy lines for a Conservative; there were 13 of us out of 123—was that it was a surprise who was nice or helpful. I remember Dennis Canavan, a former Member of this House, who never quite made it past the Tony Blair vetting system to be a Labour Member in the Scottish...

Iran-Israel Update (15 Apr 2024)

Ben Wallace: There is another country that is under almost constant daily bombardment by Iranian-made drones: Ukraine. Some three years ago I pleaded with the Israelis to help Ukraine against Russia, and they refused even though Russia was spending half a billion dollars in the Iranian drone programme. I know the Prime Minister will be speaking to the Prime Minister of Israel later today; now that RAF...

Defence: Ukraine: Military Support ( 8 Jan 2024)

Ben Wallace: I congratulate my right hon. Friend on the work he has done as Defence Secretary since taking on the Department. His long experience in government has shown to the fore and I am delighted at the work he has done so far. In June last year I wrote, at the request of No. 10 and the Cabinet Office, to request the 2024-25 funding for support to Ukraine. The funding requested was between £2.3...

Veterans Update (19 Jul 2023)

Ben Wallace: I am grateful to the hon. Lady for what she has said. I think that all of us—the Opposition and those of us on this side of the House—share not only a desire to honour those veterans and make our apology, but a recognition that we must work to deliver recommendations that will make that difference. There is no delay and we are not avoiding the question: when I said that “we may” apply...

Veterans Update (19 Jul 2023)

Ben Wallace: My hon. Friend is a good friend of mine, and I remember him making that brave decision. Many of us on this side of the House who know him well—and many on the other side—pay tribute not only to his decision to come out at that moment, but to his ongoing campaigning for LGBT people and, indeed, for all those across society who have had to make such difficult decisions in their lives. I can...

Veterans Update (19 Jul 2023)

Ben Wallace: I am grateful to my honourable colleague across the Floor. As he says, we never know: he may find me back in the Scottish Parliament, where it all began.

Veterans Update (19 Jul 2023)

Ben Wallace: I am not going to live to the age of 200, so I do not know, but I have always enjoyed working with the hon. Gentleman. He is absolutely right: there is no barrier to the success of gay men and women and what they can achieve in this world. Dr Turing was probably the greatest hero of the second world war, in my book. His achievements shortened the war, saved thousands of lives and helped to...

Veterans Update (19 Jul 2023)

Ben Wallace: I cannot answer the question of why it took 22 years. All I can say is that, from the authority I have in my office for now, having been able to commission this report and start this process is something that I am proud and pleased to have done, ably supported by the Veterans Minister and the Office for Veterans’ Affairs, and by my colleague the Minister for Defence People, Veterans and...

Veterans Update (19 Jul 2023)

Ben Wallace: I am grateful to the hon. Member for his question and for his service. When I think of my own experience, I know that being friends with and getting to know men and women from the gay community—which I did not really do in my childhood or in my service because it was never talked about—is what has brought me to a position where I regret voting against gay marriage, for example. My...

Veterans Update (19 Jul 2023)

Ben Wallace: That is a pretty cruel reflection on a state, and it affected not just LGBT people but women. In the first and second world wars, women kept industry going. They kept the home fires burning and kept the factories going. Women were not allowed to fly fighter planes in war, but they were allowed to deliver them. Then, after the war, everyone went back to treating women as, in some cases,...

Veterans Update (19 Jul 2023)

Ben Wallace: In answer to both: yes. Also, some veterans were told that they did not qualify for medals in the first place. They, too, will be able to have their medals from now on.

Veterans Update (19 Jul 2023)

Ben Wallace: I am grateful to my hon. Friend. If the truth be known, I do not think I ever got an A in anything. Maybe I am finishing this job without being found out.

Veterans Update (19 Jul 2023)

Ben Wallace: I am happy to write to the right hon. Gentleman to clarify the pathway to the pension, which is important. First and foremost, we recognise that there should be a financial award. Secondly, as I said, it is important that we work with people like Fighting With Pride on how we can do that. The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs is sitting right above the right hon. Gentleman, and the...

Veterans Update (19 Jul 2023)

Ben Wallace: My hon. Friend’s last point is incredibly valid. Yes, we train people all over the world to protect their societies, but what is the point if we do not also train them to uphold international humanitarian and human rights laws? On many occasions we do that. I once stood in Lebanon to listen to former British soldiers, under a British scheme, train the Lebanese army in human rights. That is...

Veterans Update (19 Jul 2023)

Ben Wallace: Some of the delay and obfuscation was driven by a rush to get a scheme that satisfies speed. The obfuscation is not always deliberate. We have seen a list of examples where things have been written incorrectly. I remember the right hon. Member for North Durham (Mr Jones) campaigning on the vibration white finger scandal. The intention was good, but the lawyers were the ones who profited, so...

Veterans Update (19 Jul 2023)

Ben Wallace: I totally agree. When people join the armed forces, they want to belong. One of the best parts of basic training is when they are finally given their beret or when they finally pass their weapons test. Believe it or not, being on guard for the first time feels like they are being treated like a proper soldier, and they just want to belong. The fact that they all look the same and are wearing...

Veterans Update (19 Jul 2023)

Ben Wallace: The true barometer will be how we implement all 49 recommendations. Yes, financial awards will be part of it but, for some, the restoration and the valuing of these people is just as important. I hear the hon. Gentleman’s point, but not a single other Member has talked about party politics or political parties. My point about the overall culpability of society is that my party opposed...

Veterans Update (19 Jul 2023)

Ben Wallace: We have a strong and dynamic D&I plan to make sure we talk about it. We are sometimes criticised, and it is not an easy line to follow, as we saw with the RAF’s issue in promoting the recruitment of women. We are guided by the Equality Act 2010, but we are also guided by the desperate need and importance of having the whole of society in our armed forces. I would not appoint a Chief of the...

Veterans Update (19 Jul 2023)

Ben Wallace: Some of the recommendations will go across government, including those on homelessness, which the hon. Gentleman rightly highlights. It will be important that the MOD and the Minister for Defence People, Veterans and Service Families work closely with the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs to make sure that we have that grip not just across national Government, but across local government. If...


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