Lib Dem MP for Cheltenham Martin Horwood has stepped up calls by the party for a National Defence Medal to be available for all veterans who have served in the Armed Forces.
Here‘s how the Press Association reports the story:
Martin Horwood, co-chairman of the Parliamentary Party Committee on International Affairs, said a new body was needed which was recognised by veterans as “truly independent”. Currently, any decision to award new medals is made by the Honours and Decorations Committee behind closed doors. But Mr Horwood believes it needs to be disbanded and reformed with a new independent chairman. It must also meet in public so that it is forced to justify its decisions, he said.
And the party website reports Martin saying:
“A National Defence Medal would be a small token of appreciation for the huge debt that everyone in Britain owes to the brave members of our Armed Services, past and present. For too long decisions about medals have been made behind closed doors. We need to bring the debate and consideration into the public gaze, so that veterans and current service personnel can contribute their views and see how decisions are reached.”
Lord (Monroe) Palmer, Martin’s fellow co-chair, adds:
“We achieved significant success in the House of Lords by getting Government agreement that the Pinjat Jasa Malaysia medal, which could be accepted but not worn, can now be worn. We must now go on to make the whole decision making process more transparent. I hope that as part of the review, a National Defence Medal can be instituted which can be applied for by all those who have served in the armed forces since 1945.”