Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has launched the party's new “Labour Friends of the Forces’ programme, addressing issues such as recruitment, mental health and transitioning from the military into civilian life.
Challenges to the forces community were addressed during a virtual roundtable discussion.
Former Army Officer and Labour MP Dan Jarvis told the group Labour has a responsibility to support and defend the best interests of military personnel.
"The Armed Forces are our insurance policy as a country. And there’s a very odd adage that as a country and as a society we tend only to appreciate the work that they do when they are directly in the public eye.
“The reality is every single day in different parts of the country and different parts of the world they are doing incredibly important work to keep us safe.”
Sir Keir Starmer has also praised the work of the UK Armed Forces in a recent video, saying their courage, discipline and service is admired by the public.
As well as thanking serving personnel, their families and veterans in a video message, the Labour Leader said Armed Forces Day 2020 is an opportunity to open the Party up to the service community.
"In recent months, in response to coronavirus we’ve seen the excellence and professionalism of our servicemen and women in action on the streets of our own country.
"We’ve got to do what we can to support them." There are plans for discussions to be held in every region and nation in the UK – led by Labour Shadow Defence Minister John Healey and Shadow Veterans Minister Sharon Hodgson.
Mr Healey believes Armed Forces Day is a moment to celebrate the pride the nation has in the Armed Forces.
“They are respected worldwide for their excellence and professionalism and indeed we have seen that close to home during the recent COVID crisis," he said.
“Especially as we face, I think, as a country, a period of greater global risk and conflict it’s more important than ever to know and understand the hopes and aspirations of our serving personnel and their families and veterans.”
Labour says the discussions will form part of a wider piece of work to help form party defence policies.
Cover image: British Army.