Portsmouth South’s new Member of Parliament, Stephen Morgan, has joined the Parliamentary Armed Forces scheme.
The programme gives MPs and peers direct experience of the British armed forces and aims to improve the quality of the debate on military issues in Parliament.
MPs complete 15 days of service in order to graduate with a requirement to complete a range of activities including shadowing frontline personnel, visits to bases and key sites and meetings undertaken during parliamentary recess.
Stephen Morgan MP said:
“Every day our armed forces commit heroic acts of bravery in our name. They do so to defend our national security and interests.
At a time when our forces are being asked to do more overseas in a radically and fast-changing security landscape, in my view it has never been more important for Parliamentarians to understand the challenges they face”.
MPs are given the choice of which service to join for the programme, Army, RAF or Navy. First year participants are granted the honorary rank of Army Major, RAF Squadron Leader or Royal Navy Lt Commander depending on which branch of the armed forces they choose to join.
In light of Portsmouth being home to the Royal Navy, Stephen has signed up to this vital service, starting the scheme this week with a briefing at the Ministry of Defence and collection of standard issue uniform for MPs from the Wellington Barracks, Westminster.
“Whilst coming from a family background in the armed forces – my grandfather left Southsea on D-Day on his seventeenth birthday as part of Operation Overlord – I haven’t had first-hand experience of working in the armed forces.
I want to speak with authenticity in the House on issues affecting our armed forces. This direct experience will allow me to ensure informed debate and decisions in Parliament and be a strong voice for our armed forces in Portsmouth up in Westminster.
I relish this opportunity as another way to champion the views of those who work so hard day in, day out to defend our nation”.