Politics

Tory Leadership Contestants Urged To Sign Up To The Veterans' Pledge

"We're not hopeful, we're almost insistent that this happens," says the CEO of Help For Heroes.

The next Prime Minister will be held to account to deliver on a pledge to create an Office of Veterans Affairs run by a minister that would have a seat at the cabinet table, says military charity Help For Heroes.

It comes with one day to go until Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt hear who will be appointed the next Prime Minister.

They have both signed up to a campaign which is also calling for the military covenant to be enshrined into law and for the protection of veterans from facing repeated historical allegations, including in Northern Ireland.

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt will find out who will be getting the keys to downing street on Tuesday (Picture: Parliament).

Melanie Waters, Help For Heroes' CEO, says the new Office of Veterans Affairs would protect the men and women who were wounded in conflict.

Ms Waters said they needed "long-term" support: "They will need our help in the long-term as they grow old, and our absolute promise to them is they grow old with dignity and pride and I think the nation would want that.

"Therefore, I think that either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt, whoever becomes Prime Minister, would want that too.

"We're not hopeful, we're almost insistent that this happens."

Tidworth House exterior Credit BFBS 220719
Help for Heroes' recovery centre is located in Tidworth, Wiltshire.

An Office of Veterans’ Affairs would ensure all government departments are issuing policies which recognise their responsibility to former service personnel.

Having a Cabinet-level minister would also ensure the needs of veterans are heard at the highest level.

Ms Waters said the "top priority" for the new PM is "to look at how they might make that constitutional change - because it is a constitutional change, it's quite a paradigm shift".