Saturday 27 June 2020 / 12:05 AM Defence

Starmer launches new Labour Friends of the Forces programme on Armed Forces Day

Starmer launches new Labour Friends of the Forces programme on Armed Forces Day

Keir Starmer today [Saturday] opens up the Labour Party to Britain’s military, as the country celebrates Armed Forces Day.

The Labour Party leader will launch Labour’s most ambitious programme of engagement with the service community at a virtual roundtable meeting with former Forces personnel. The event is the first of a UK-wide programme of discussions led by Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey and Labour’s shadow defence team.

The new Labour Friends of the Forces scheme will host events in every region and nation with veterans, active personnel and forces families. The purpose is to link those in the Forces and forces communities directly with Labour’s decision-makers.

In a video message to the Forces community published today, Starmer praises the military for stepping up to support the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party, said:

“I am proud of my country and proud of those who serve it.

“I want to open up Labour again to our Armed Forces, their families and veterans across our country.

“Today’s event marks the start of an exciting new dialogue with forces communities with an ambitious new Labour Friends of the Forces scheme.

“As we celebrate Armed Forces Day, I say thank you to our forces communities for the role they play both at home and abroad. I will make sure we listen to you and learn from you.”

John Healey, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Defence said:

“Armed Forces Day celebrates the pride we share in the excellence and professionalism of Britain’s service men and women. They represent the values the British people admire most – integrity, discipline and service.

“As Britain faces a period of greater global risk and conflict, I want Labour to hear their voices and views, and I want them to play a bigger part in our Party.

“We’ve got to understand the hopes and aspirations of the Armed Forces community, as well as the problems they face after a decade of declining numbers, morale and pay.”