Calls to end MPs Medals

Plaid Cymru have called for an end to medals awarded to MPs for visits they have made to conflict zones. A number of MPs have received medals at ceremonies as a reward for 10 years or more membership of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme (AFPS), a body which allows politicians to spend around 22 days a year with the military.

The practice has been criticised by ex-servicemen, families of fallen service and also by a senior officer who led British forces in Afghanistan. A Downing street petition opposing the practice of
awarding MPs medals has already been signed by over 40,000 people.

The Plaid Cymru group of MPs have now tabled a motion in parliament calling on the practice to be stopped.

Adam Price MP said:

“Service personnel face hugely difficult challenges and when they are awarded a rank or medal it is based on bravery and dedication. It is very concerning to hear that some MPs have been accepting medals which quite frankly cheapen the contribution our armed forces make.

Plaid‘s Westminster candidate Jonathan Edwards said:

“There is no doubt that our troops need support. This is required in terms of providing the right equipment and medical support, including providing a duty of care for ex-service personnel when they leave the forces. The priorities are all wrong. The practise of giving MPs medals has to stop, it is terrible for troop morale and I hope that MPs from all parties join this campaign.”

DIWEDD / ENDS

Nodiadau / Notes:

MPs in the AFPS scheme are given a uniform to wear which comes with a specially-designed badge decorated with a portcullis, the symbol of Parliament, and are invited to take part at the entry level rank of Major. They can then earn promotion to Colonel and above. Soldiers are only awarded medals if they serve in a war zone, serve in operations, or for long service or acts of conspicuous bravery.

The wording of the EDM 1071 reads as follows:

ENDING OF MEDALS, HONORARY RANK AND UNIFORMS FOR AFPS MEMBERS

That this House recognises the advantages and understanding of the work of the Armed Forces generated by the work of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme but calls for an immediate end to the practice of awarding medals, honorary rank and a uniform to Members of Parliament as part of this scheme; believes that these awards cheapens the real day-to-day experiences undergone by members of the Armed Forces; pays tribute to the Armed Forces bravery and heroism in difficult circumstances and further recognises that these circumstances are often forced upon Armed Forces members as a result of political decisions made by Members of Parliament.

Independent petition at:
http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/notompmedals/

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