The bond between our nation and our armed forces is so important and I was proud to fight in Parliament for the Military Covenant to be enshrined in legislation.
Because of this, the Government has a firm commitment to recognise the unique nature of military service and provide the highest standards of care for our service personnel, veterans and their families. The moral contract between the nation and the whole forces community should be protected and strengthened and never sidestepped.
However, the Government actually holds very little information about the size of the armed forces community, where they live or what their needs are. Even the most basic information would make a huge difference to the provision of vital services and support.
I am backing a campaign by the British Legion called “Count Them In”. The aim is to add new questions to the national census due to be held in 2021. We can improve our understanding of this unique community and ensure that politicians, charities and service providers fully meet the needs of our serving personnel, veterans and their families.
If you would like to join me and add your support to the campaign, or find out more about it, please visit www.britishlegion.org.uk/census
My speech to Parliament on the Military Covenant in 2011