Bolton MP backs formation of soldiers' federation

From The Bolton News, 2 June 2008

A BOLTON MP is backing moves to give soldiers a voice through the creation of an official British Armed Forces Federation. David Crausby wants ordinary servicemen to be recognised by the Government in the same way as police officers through the Police Federation. Mr Crausby, MP for Bolton North east, said: "The controversies surrounding the standard of accommodation, injured personnel and the terrible accidents at Deepcut barracks have increasingly led to ordinary members saying they need an organisation to make their voice heard."

Mr Crausby, who is vice-chairman of the House of Commons defence select committee, said a properly constituted Federation would improve career development; act as a go-between for servicemen and politicians; represent members in disputes over pay, accommodation, medical treatment, welfare provision and resettlement; back anyone facing legal action as a result of their service in the armed forces; bring about improved deals for soldiers in things like insurance. Mr Crausby, who voted against the Iraq War, said he was backing a Private Members' Bill that if passed, would pave the way for an armed forces federation to be recognised in law.

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