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Model Motions to support the Armed Forces Community

These model motions have been drafted and passed by members of Labour Friends of the Forces in their CLPs, Labour Groups, and Labour-controlled councils.

These texts are suggested texts to be used to offer practical support and solidarity to Armed Forces Communities in the United Kingdom and those we have served alongside overseas.

Child refugee

Support the resettlement of Afghan Refugees

The Collapse of Afghanistan has led to a humanitarian crisis, the scenes in Kabul international airport are shocking to all who have seen them especially the thousands of refugees fleeing from the Taliban, many who have been left behind. The UK made several commitments to the people of Afghanistan, chief among them was the promise we would not abandon them. The UK has a moral responsibility to evacuate all interpreters and their families as well as all others who have worked on behalf of the UK.

We, therefore, call upon …. to:

  1. Write to HM Government regarding our concerns around the unfolding humanitarian crisis and abuse of human rights and for the thousands of eligible Afghan civilians as well as British citizens who have been left behind in Afghanistan.
  2. Write to the Home Secretary outlining our support for as many eligible Afghan refugees as possible to be evacuated from Afghanistan.
  3. Ask the Home Secretary to detail funding and initiatives that will be set up to assist with the resettlement of Afghan refugees, including funding for housing, education, and complex mental health issues that many will be suffering from.
  4. Grant Immediate status to Afghan asylum-seekers already in the UK as well expanding the family reunion route so that Afghans can be joined by other members of their family such as parents and siblings.

Armed Forces and the Cost of Living Crisis

Our armed forces have a long and proud history of service and dedication to this nation. From deployments to NATO’s eastern flank to keeping essential services running at home, service personnel continue to serve our country with courage and distinction. They are being let down by the Conservative government. After a decade of real terms pay cuts, the Conservatives’ cost of living crisis, and the delay to this year’s Armed Forces pay award we now see Service Personnel forced to use food banks, while forces charities and regimental associations continue to provide cost of living grants and food vouchers to veterans and their families.

Service personnel have become routinely called upon to cover for a lack of resilience across the public sector and to provide cover for some essential services during industrial action. They do this in the dedicated and professional way we would expect from our forces. Without a right to strike it is the moral duty of their leaders to uphold the Armed Forces Covenant, and the responsibility of elected bodies to uphold their part of this obligation and insist that our service personnel and their families receive the support they need and deserve.


Therefore this council notes that:

–           It is deeply concerning that service personnel are forced to turn to food banks.

–           It is deeply concerning that forces charities and regimental associations continue to have to provide cost-of-living grants and food vouchers to veterans and their families.

This council believes that:

–           We should condemn in the strongest terms the Conservative Government’s neglect of our service personnel.

This council calls on the UK Government to :

–           Release the armed forces pay review board 2023/4 report and pay award that is already two months overdue.

–           Provide additional basic financial support to service personnel by capping food and accommodation charges for the next 12 months.

Fijian vet holding number 2 military dress

Commonwealth Armed Forces Veterans Support

Commonwealth veterans have a long and proud history of service in the British military, from conflicts old, such as World War Two to recent conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Commonwealth veterans have served with distinction alongside British- born veterans. However, when their service is complete many are left with extortionate charges to remaining in the UK. Commonwealth veterans are supposed to receive indefinite leave to remain in the UK however many veterans state that the Army failed to inform them that they needed to make an immediate application to the Home Office for leave to remain in the UK when their service was complete. Many thought the process was automatic, yet this is not the case.

Fees for indefinite leave to remain have also dramatically increased. Since 2015 fees for indefinite leave to remain have increased by nearly 127% from £1051 – £2381 with a family of four having to pay nearly £10,000 to remain in the UK. This figure doesn’t include associated legal fees that some who have struggled with immigration applications may need to pay. This can lead to many facing spiraling debt and uncertain immigration status because if a veteran is unable to pay, they and their family face the prospect of taking on large amounts of debt or finding their immigration status in doubt with the very real prospect of deportation.

Whilst their applications are ongoing, Commonwealth veterans are also unable to seek employment or claim benefits. Take the example of Taitusi Ratucaucau, a veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and was handed an NHS bill for £50,000, or the case of Filimone Lacanivalu who was 48 hours away from being deported in 2013, despite serving two tours of Afghanistan, or Hannah Swart who appeared in a Guardian article detailing the fees that her South African husband had to pay in order to remain in the UK. Sadly, there are hundreds of cases such as these and with recruitment from the Commonwealth increasing, this injustice will continue to linger for the foreseeable future.

We at Labour Friends of the Forces believe this to be a poor reward for people we persuaded to leave their countries in order to serve in the British Armed Forces. It is a poor reward for those who have been willing to put their lives on the line in the service of this nation and we believe that they deserve better.

The motion:

We call upon [council] to make their Armed Forces Champion and lead officers aware of the difficulties experienced by Commonwealth veterans and ensure that those who are currently experiencing problems, whether financial or immigration difficulties, are not disadvantaged whilst their applications are ongoing.

We also call upon the Leader of the Council to write to the Prime Minister, the Minister of State for Immigration, and the Minister of State for Veterans Affairs outlining this council’s support for all Commonwealth veterans who have served a minimum of 4 years to be granted, automatic and free of charge, the right to remain in the UK and that any veteran who completes 12 years of service to be automatically given British Citizenship.

Further, we call upon the Leader of the Council to write to {insert name of MP}, MP for {insert constituency}, on behalf of this council, to ask that he/she {delete as appropriate} continue to press the government for a change in the legislation that affects those that have served diligently and honourably for this Country.

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