In a difficult and uncertain world, our armed forces are essential to ensuring our security.

I’ve always been a proud supporter of them, and the incredible armed forces personnel who dedicate their lives to keeping us safe.

But they deserve better.

Under this Government, defence budgets have been devastatingly slashed, the size of our armed forces cut, and our servicemen and women given an unacceptable deal.

Satisfaction with service life for personnel has dropped every year since 2009, for example, and there are grave concerns about our armed forces’ operational capacity after years of neglect and cuts by this Tory Government.

So once Parliament returns after summer, I’ll be taking part in the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme, which will give me the opportunity to work alongside the army for a number of days across the year.

I hope it will allow me to see first-hand what life in like in the army, and gain a greater understanding of the challenges facing our armed forces and brave service personnel.

I’m looking forward to getting stuck in.

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