UK

MPs need to understand effect decisions have on Armed Forces personnel, Speaker says

The Speaker of the House of Commons has told BFBS, MPs should understand the effect their decisions can have on Armed Forces personnel.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle said his hunger to support the Armed Forces started after spending some time with the Royal Marines.

"When I came into Parliament I was very, very lucky because I've got an interest in the Armed Forces and you could volunteer to go and get some experience," he said.

"And that's what I wanted to do, the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme, and... I went with the Royal Marines.

"It was a great experience and it gave me that hunger to support the people who serve this country.

"And I always say if we're going to make the decision on the future of people's lives, whether it is going to war or not, we should be informed."

Sir Lindsay added that Parliament holds "a lot of receptions" in order to promote the work of the UK military.

"Meeting up with different people who serve, it's fantastic what they do," he said.

"Young people, dedicated to serving their country and parliamentarians ought to understand, when we vote on something, make sure you know what effect you'll have on their lives.

"They'll let us know they're not happy, but the fact is they serve the country and they will make the difference."

He also highlighted the importance of recognising veterans and said he wants to "recruit more into Parliament".

"We have lots of jobs in Parliament, please, if you're thinking of leaving the Armed Forces, contact us," he said.

Watch: 'Only right' to visit Armed Forces personnel, Speaker of the House of Commons says.

"We've jobs coming up, different jobs, if you're a chef, security, maintenance – you name it, we'll have jobs available.

"So, please think about coming and working in Parliament, we'd love to have you."

As well as the role of Honorary Colonel of 3 Medical Regiment, Sir Lindsay also has ties to Gibraltar, became the first Speaker to go to the Falkland Islands and visited personnel in Cyprus earlier this year.

"I do care about the Armed Forces, I care about the people who serve this country," he said.

"And it's only right I go and see them and it’s about being part of them.”

Sir Lindsay signed off the interview by thanking all military personnel serving the country.

"My clear message is thank you for serving the country, thank you for what you do," he said.

"I know sometimes we make some difficult decisions for you and you get some difficult postings but you are so appreciated.

"You fly the flag and there is no better or more professional than the MOD of this country, so thank you to all tri-services," he added.