Keir Starmer wants to hear how to improve troops’ experiences when they leave the Forces (Image: PA)
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Labour tonight launches a six-month consultation on how to support Britain's veterans.
The Tories' treatment of former servicemen and women has come under repeated criticism in recent months, including from their own MPs.
In another sign of Labour's bid to move on from Jeremy Corbyn's reign, his successor Keir Starmer announced a “nationwide consultation drive with military veterans”, as Armed Forces Day looms on Saturday.
He said: “I want Britain to be the best place in the world to serve and be a veteran.
“Labour is proud that British service personnel are respected worldwide for their all-round professionalism.
“We all recognise the vital role they played in helping the nation through the Covid crisis.
The Labour leader will meet veterans with mental health problems on Thursday
(Image: Getty Images)
“Those who have served to protect our country have shown the ultimate public service.
“Labour wants to see our veterans, who have often risked their lives for our country, get the best possible support.”
During the consultation, MPs and councillors will work with ex-personnel, charities and support groups to “build a comprehensive plan to support UK forces' veterans and their families”, the party said.
The consultation will last for six months
(Image: AFP/Getty Images)
Mr Starmer is due to meet veterans suffering from mental health problems on Thursday.
Labour will use Wednesday's Commons debate on the Armed Forces Bill to push the Government to bolster the Armed Forces Covenant by improving housing, healthcare and mental health services for troops and those who used to serve.
Hailing the consultation, Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey said: “We will speak to veterans across the country about their experiences, and how government can work for them."
Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey
(Image: Newcastle Chronicle)
Ministers discussed “how we are working collaboratively across government to deliver for our military veterans” at today's Cabinet meeting, a No10 spokesman said.
“Cabinet was told that this Government has provided more support for our veterans than any before.
“The minister set out how veterans make excellent employees, are role models for our country and are a national asset.
“The Prime Minister agreed and reiterated our commitment to making the UK the best place in the world to be a veteran, outlining the commitments that have already been delivered on this front, such as the veterans’ railcard and a national insurance holiday for employers of veterans.”