Mali: UN Peacekeeping Mission

Penny Mordaunt Excerpts
Monday 14th November 2022

(1 year, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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James Heappey Portrait James Heappey
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No, I do not, for the simple reason that the UK troops in Gao are now somewhat north of the centre of mass of the insurgency. The argument that I am making gently is that our position in Gao is not that relevant, given where the security challenge in west Africa is. The real challenge now is getting after the insurgency in Burkina; making sure that in Ouagadougou there is enthusiasm for working with western allies, not Prigozhin and Wagner; and extending security back out from Burkina. That is where the challenge is now, and that is what everybody is meeting to discuss in Accra next week.

Message from His Majesty the King

The Vice-Chamberlain of the Household acquainted the House that she had a Message from His Majesty the King to this House, signed by His Majesty’s own hand.

The Message was presented to the House, and read to the House by the Speaker, as follows:

To ensure continued efficiency of public business when I am unavailable, such as while I am undertaking official duties overseas, I confirm that I would be most content, should Parliament see fit, for the number of people who may be called upon to act as Counsellors of State under the terms of the Regency Acts 1937 to 1953 to be increased to include my sister and brother, The Princess Royal and The Earl of Wessex & Forfar, both of whom have previously undertaken this role.

Penny Mordaunt Portrait The Leader of the House of Commons (Penny Mordaunt)
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On a point of order, Mr Speaker. It may help if I inform the House that hon. Members will have the opportunity to consider a response to His Majesty’s gracious message ahead of the Opposition day debate tomorrow. It may also help if I inform the House that there will be legislation relating to the message for the House to consider in due course. Should the House agree to the Humble Address as the first business tomorrow, that legislation will provide a proper opportunity to debate the matter that has been raised.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I thank the Leader of the House for that point of order.

Middle East: Security

Penny Mordaunt Excerpts
Tuesday 7th January 2020

(4 years, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Ben Wallace Portrait Mr Wallace
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I note that the Leader of the Opposition sent the Prime Minister a letter in which he posed three questions, none of which he has just posed from the Dispatch Box. I find that rather interesting. I am afraid that instead of a serious interrogation about we would de-escalate this situation in the middle east and how we would ensure that British citizens and British allies were secure, we heard the usual tripe—“This is about Trump, this is about America”—and all the other anti-American, anti-imperialist guff.

The Leader of the Opposition asked where the Prime Minister was. Well, funnily enough, the Prime Minister is running the country, something that the right hon. Gentleman will fail ever to do as a result of the general election. This Prime Minister actually believes in Cabinet government, and in letting the members of the Cabinet who are responsible for the policy come to the House to be able to answer questions about a matter relating to that policy. Indeed, the Prime Minister felt that it was appropriate for me, as a Secretary of State for Defence who currently has a significant number of assets in the region—in Iraq—and who is charged with the duty of defending this country, to attend and to answer the questions in his place.

Perhaps I can answer some of the few questions that were asked by the Leader of the Opposition. First, it is for the United States to answer in detail the question whether it views the intelligence on the basis of which it made its decision to be illegal or not. On the basis of the information and intelligence that I have seen, what I can say is that it is clear that there was a case for self-defence to be made in respect of an individual who had come to Iraq to co-ordinate murder and attacks on US citizens. That begs the question what the Leader of the Opposition would have done if that individual had come to Iraq or anywhere else to plot the murder of British soldiers and diplomats. Perhaps, as he recommended with al-Baghdadi of ISIS, he would seek to have him arrested at that time.

It is of course the case that this Government are engaged in a full diplomatic effort at all levels to de-escalate the tensions that have grown in the region, not only at the United Nations but in leader-to-leader, Defence Secretary and Foreign Secretary discussions and using all other levers that we have. More broadly than just in the region, we are seeking efforts to ensure that Iran does not retaliate in any way that would escalate the situation and that our friends and allies do not escalate the situation either. The call that this Government are making is to ensure that we pause, that we focus on the safety of the peoples of that region and that we seek a way out for Iran and for its neighbours. The first way we can do that, which this Government are determined to try to do, is to ensure that the destabilising activity that has been going on in the region is ceased, so that we can all progress to find the solution that we desperately want to the conflict. In the meantime, the Government will get on and ensure that they keep people safe in the region, and we will do everything we can to protect them and their lives.

Penny Mordaunt Portrait Penny Mordaunt (Portsmouth North) (Con)
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I thank my right hon. Friend for his statement. Thousands of Iraqi civilians, military personnel and cadets have lost their lives in Daesh-linked violence, with many brutally executed. In the light of these events and the recent statement from the combined joint taskforce for Operation Inherent Resolve, can he reassure the House that the fight against Daesh remains offensive, not defensive? Will he also update us on efforts to secure access to northern Syria for humanitarian actors and others, given that access via Iraq is now impossible?

Ben Wallace Portrait Mr Wallace
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My right hon. Friend makes the serious point that Daesh has not gone away. Indeed, it is posing a threat to us here in the United Kingdom and Europe and also within region. We are working incredibly hard with the Iraqi Government to try to see in what ways we can remain in theatre to deal with that, and I know that the Prime Minister spoke recently to the Iraqi Prime Minister, including on that subject. At the same time, in Syria, we are focused on the force protection of aid workers and everybody else in the region, ensuring that people are safe and that people who are travelling there do so with the right advice. It would not be right for me to comment any further on what we are doing operationally in Iraq and elsewhere in the region, as to do so may expose our forces, but we are alive to the fact that among the groups of people most likely to exploit destabilisation are terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and Daesh.

Armed Force Pay Review Body Report 2019

Penny Mordaunt Excerpts
Monday 22nd July 2019

(4 years, 9 months ago)

Written Statements
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Penny Mordaunt Portrait The Secretary of State for Defence (Penny Mordaunt)
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I am today announcing the Government’s decision on pay rises for the armed forces.

The Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB) has made its recommendation for the 2019-20 pay award of 2.9%. We are accepting this recommendation in full (to be implemented in September salaries, backdated to 1 April 2019), and I am today laying their 2019 report.

Last year, the Government announced the largest pay rise in nearly a decade for almost a million public sector workers. This year’s award builds on this and focuses attention on increasing pay for the most junior sailors, soldiers, and airmen and women, to ensure that they continue to receive a living wage. Consequently, the basic pay for other ranks on completion of their initial training will now be £20,000. This pay rise of over 6% represents an increase of £1,140 for over 7,200 newly trained sailors, soldiers, and airmen and airwomen.

The pay award also represents an annual increase of £995 in the nominal average salary in the armed forces (which is at the Corporal level), as well as an annual increase of £769 in starting salary for an officer.

For all cohorts, this is in addition to the non-contributory defined benefit pension and access to incremental pay progression.

The AFPRB has also made recommendations on rises and changes to other targeted forms of remuneration and on increases to food and accommodation charges which have been accepted. Where applicable, these rate changes will also be backdated to 1 April 2019.

Thanks to the Government’s balanced approach to public finances, getting debt falling as a share of our economy, while investing in our vital services and keeping taxes low, we are able to continue our flexible approach to pay policy, allowing us to attract and retain the best people for our armed forces.

We consider all pay awards in light of wider pressures on public spending. Public sector pay needs to be fair both for public sector workers and the taxpayer. Around a quarter of all public spending is spent on pay and we need to ensure that our public services remain affordable for the future.

It is also vital that our world class public services continue modernising to meet rising demand for the incredible services they provide, which improve our lives and keep us safe.

[HCWS1770]

UN Mission: Sahel Region

Penny Mordaunt Excerpts
Monday 22nd July 2019

(4 years, 9 months ago)

Written Statements
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Penny Mordaunt Portrait The Secretary of State for Defence (Penny Mordaunt)
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Reflecting our continued commitment to multilateralism and international peace and security, the UK continues to support increased engagement in the Sahel under the Government’s new strategic approach to Africa.

We have committed to reinforcing our support for countries on the front line of instability, including stepping up to the UK’s role in tackling the underlying causes of poverty and conflict in Mali and the wider Sahel region (Mali, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania).

I therefore wish to announce to the House the intention to expand the UK’s contribution to the United Nations multidimensional integrated stabilisation mission in Mali (MINUSMA) by deploying a long-range reconnaissance task group of 250 personnel in 2020. The UK will support the mission in implementing its mandated tasks—to support the implementation of the peace agreement, promote stability in central Mali and to protect civilians, including supporting the rights of women and children.

The UK’s intent is to provide the UN with high-quality forces to missions where their capabilities are most in demand. The UK contribution will provide improved situational awareness and information provision that will help the mission—military and civilian—in support of the mandate, to progress towards a long-term and sustainable peace in Mali. This will signal a significant shift in the UK’s approach to peacekeeping as we bridge the gap between those who pay and those who deliver by providing a highly employable, highly capable task force.

This announcement is a significant uplift from the two military staff officers the UK currently contributes to MINUSMA HQ, and the funding of a civilian role to support the UN’s work on Sahel issues. It also demonstrates a continued commitment to UN peacekeeping following the completion of our commitment in 2020 to the UN mission in South Sudan.

The UK is committed to supporting the international community in combating instability in Mali, as well as strengthening our wider military engagement across the Sahel region, and is proud to do so under the auspices of the United Nations.

[HCWS1779]

Combat Air Strategy

Penny Mordaunt Excerpts
Monday 22nd July 2019

(4 years, 9 months ago)

Written Statements
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Penny Mordaunt Portrait The Secretary of State for Defence (Penny Mordaunt)
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The Combat Air Strategy was launched a year ago on the opening day of the Farnborough Airshow, at the birthplace of aviation. It re-affirmed the Government’s commitment to the combat air sector, laying out a clear vision for our nation to remain at the leading edge of this sector and providing a clear roadmap to achieve this.

On publication of the strategy, my right hon. Friend, the then Secretary of State for Defence, made a commitment to update the House annually on implementation of the strategy and the programmes it launched. Today I provide this update.

It is worth reflecting on the strategy and its key themes. First, it recognised the strength of our industry and its contribution to the wellbeing of our nation. This sector is economically, strategically important and is enables sovereign decision-making on where and how to deploy our military capability. Secondly, it makes clear that partnering with like-minded allies is the best means to deliver our collective objectives. The update will therefore cover both themes—domestic developments, as well as international.

Domestic update

Alongside the launch of the strategy, the Department re-affirmed our commitment to the approximately £2 billion Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative (FCAS TI). This initiative will mature the technologies needed for our future combat air systems and crucially, develop key skills across both Government and industry. The central pillar of FCAS TI is Team Tempest, a co-funded partnership between Government and our industry partners. Over the last year this partnership has driven a step change in relationships and behaviours between Government and industry by aligning incentives, sharing costs and benefits and creating common interest in pace and agility. The team is on track to delivering 17 European firsts and seven world firsts. The first of these has already been achieved—the embedding of an electrical starter generator by Rolls-Royce within the main body of a powerful military aircraft engine. This increases the power density and reduces the complexity of future aircraft engines, resulting in more efficient engine designs and is fully exploitable to Rolls-Royce’s multi-billion pound civil business. This technology will continue to be matured in the coming years, leading to a fully integrated novel power and propulsion system.

This partnership, and the private and public funding underpinning it, already supports over 1,000 jobs, many of them in high-end design, across the breadth of the country, from BAE Systems in Lancashire, to Rolls-Royce in Bristol and to Leonardo in Edinburgh and Luton. This number is set to rise to 1,800 by the end of this year.

The strategy recognised that there is significant capability residing in UK companies of all sizes and therefore, we are engaging with companies beyond our Team Tempest partners. The Under-Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend, the Member for Pudsey (Stuart Andrew), hosted an Industry Engagement Day on the 19 March at Farnborough where 180 companies representing a wide range of capabilities and sizes, received briefs on the technologies being matured by Team Tempest and the opportunities that exist for further collaboration. I am pleased to announce that the Team Tempest partners have subsequently engaged an additional 500 companies and so far, have let over 120 sub-contracts in support of Team Tempest activities.

The combat air sector is likely to be a key driver in new technologies and skills in areas such as automation, machine learning, advanced manufacturing and big data which will have broader benefit to the economy. Crucial to the long-term sustainability of this sector is ensuring that the skills needed in the future are identified, the workforce trained and that ultimately these skills are transferred to the next generation. Team Tempest has therefore established a dedicated STEM engagement team to inspire young people to be involved in this sector. This approach, along with the assurance provided by the strategy has resulted in record numbers of young people joining the workforce. This year, Leonardo MW will recruit 104 graduates and 62 apprentices, with the majority planned to be involved in Team Tempest activities. Similarly, BAE Systems is planning to recruit approximately 700 apprentices and 300 graduates to grow the percentage (currently 10%) of their Team Tempest workforce that are graduates and apprentices.

Working closely with officials from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Department has launched a skills index to monitor the health of industrial and Government skills critical to the delivery of our national objectives. Industry have provided their inputs and we are analysing the results and intend to present our findings in September. The skills index will be used to inform and measure the success of interventions such as FCAS TI, to ensure the health of the sector.

International update

On F35, in February, the avionic and aircraft component repair hub in North Wales was awarded a second major assignment of work worth some £500 million by the US Government. This will create hundreds of additional jobs in the UK and was the result of working closely with industry to deliver a national campaign approach.

On Typhoon, the strategy confirmed our commitment to continue to invest in this remarkable platform. In June, NETMA, on behalf of the UK and the other European partner nations, awarded a €54 million contract for the Typhoon long-term evolution study to industry which will explore how to maximise Typhoon’s capability for this decade and beyond.

The FCAS TI programme is maturing technologies for national usage, as well with our international partners. We are contracting our industry to work with their French counterparts on technologies that would maximise interoperability of our current and future platforms, recognising that, as currently envisioned, the Franco-German Système de Combat Aérien Futur (SCAF) acquisition programme does not meet the objectives laid out in our strategy. We are also investing in the development of the next generation lift fan for the F35B, to reduce weight and improve the overall effectiveness of this world beating platform.

Our next generation acquisition programme will define and deliver the capabilities required when the backbone of the RAF, the Typhoon, leaves service. The team delivering this is working at pace, having within a few months of forming, delivered the strategic outline (business) case, which confirmed acquisition options to deliver our future combat air capability, which are now being explored and tested with potential international partners.

Despite challenging international dynamics, the Department has made great strides in our discussions with potential partners. With the support of wider Government (most notably officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Trade) and our industry, we have launched feasibility studies with potential partners.

We have discovered that there is a great appetite to collaborate with us. We offer a unique partnering approach, recognising the need to deliver ours and our partners’ benefits together, learning from our rich history of collaboration. This approach provides the firm leadership needed and appears to be an attractive alternative to the traditional, dominant-junior partner relationships.

Last week I signed a memorandum of understanding with my Swedish counterpart on this topic. This marks a significant step in aligning our nations, recognising both nations have highly capable combat air sectors. We will work together to mutually develop our understanding of the systems required to deliver our future requirements and how best to develop, deliver and ultimately support them. Beyond Sweden, we are furthering our engagement with other potential partners and I aim to sign similar arrangements over the next year.

From progress to date, we believe that Europe can afford two separate Combat Air programmes. We are investing in technologies, such as open systems architectures and advanced design and manufacturing techniques which offer significant reductions to the time and cost of design, manufacture, in-service upgrades and modifications. We are also ensuring that collaboration will be with partners whose strategic objectives align with our own, including the determination to reduce costs. We recognise that in an effective and efficient collaboration, there will be an optimum number of partners, which may include those outside of Europe.

The strategy’s next major steps are to continue the concept phase until December 2020, gathering evidence on the acquisition options presented and then submit the outline business case. This will select the preferred acquisition route and concept to be taken forward into the assessment phase.

[HCWS1778]

Support for Armed Forces Personnel and Veterans

Penny Mordaunt Excerpts
Monday 22nd July 2019

(4 years, 9 months ago)

Written Statements
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Penny Mordaunt Portrait The Secretary of State for Defence (Penny Mordaunt)
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Our armed forces do an incredible job to protect us and our nation. They endure great hardships and separation from their loved ones, and they place themselves in harm’s way and bear the physical and mental scars of traumatic experiences. They are prepared to risk their lives for us. We owe them a huge debt, and we also owe them justice and fairness.

The Government are clear that the armed forces are not above the law. It is right that whenever the armed forces embark on operations outside of the UK our people and their chain of command are bound to abide by the criminal law of England and Wales, as well as international humanitarian law as set out in the Geneva Conventions. Our service men and women are required to conform to the highest standards of personal behaviour and conduct. And when they fall short they must be held to account. Justice must be served.

The Government believe that, other than in exceptional circumstances, the conclusion of investigations into allegations made against members of the armed forces should draw a line—addressing the uncertainty faced by armed forces personnel concerned about the prospect of reinvestigation and prosecution many years after the event. But the law as it stands cannot allow that line to be drawn with any confidence. That is why the Government believe change is needed to afford armed forces personnel and veterans greater protection from the threat of prosecution for alleged historical offences committed in the course of duty outside the UK. Armed forces personnel and veterans should not be left with the threat of prosecution hanging over their heads for years to come, in circumstances where their actions have been investigated at the time.

Similar issues arise in relation to civil litigation. Military operations in Iraq resulted in litigation against the Ministry of Defence on an industrial scale: nearly 1,000 claims seeking compensation for personal injury or death (most of which also sought compensation for human rights violations), and approximately 1,400 judicial review claims seeking European Convention on Human Rights-compliant investigation and compensation. Although the law does provide for a time limit in such cases, the courts are currently given broad discretion as to whether to enforce that limit. The effect is that claims have routinely been brought late, with huge numbers of compensation claims permitted to proceed long after the relevant time limit.

The later a claim is brought, especially in respect of allegations emanating from a war zone, the harder it is to assess in a fair and proportionate manner. Records may no longer be sufficiently detailed to be able to prove or disprove specific allegations, and the memories of those involved in incidents fade over time. In such circumstances, the Government may have to choose between settling claims—the merits of which have not been established—or putting armed forces personnel and veterans through the ordeal of giving evidence on the Ministry of Defence’s behalf. This is unfair to our personnel and to the taxpayer, who must pay the associated legal costs.

All of this goes to the heart of what is known as “lawfare”—the judicialisation of war. And the risks and impacts of lawfare are clear: in terms of the financial costs; the stress and strain placed on veterans; the potential impact on the morale of serving personnel and our ability to recruit future armed forces personnel; and the risk that decisions taken on operations may be corrupted in order to avoid the possibility of legal proceedings many years in the future—the “chilling effect” feared by military commanders.

This is why I announced on 21 May (HCWS 1575) my plans to take forward work to address this important and concerning issue. I am pleased to be able to announce today the launch of a public consultation on legal protections measures for the armed forces and veterans.

The consultation document contains proposed measures which we believe can be enacted in a manner which is consistent with our obligations under domestic and international law, while providing genuine benefits to our personnel:

First, a proposal to legislate for a presumption against prosecution of current or former armed forces personnel for alleged offences committed in the course of duty outside the UK more than 10 years ago. This measure would in effect raise the threshold to be applied by prosecutors when considering whether a prosecution is genuinely in the public interest in such cases. Two different options are set out in the consultation document for how this measure could be enacted.

And secondly, a proposal to ensure that going forward, the law reflects the unique pressures faced by armed forces personnel while deployed on operations outside the UK, through the creation of a new partial defence to murder. This would be available to current and former armed forces personnel who caused a death in the course of duty outside the UK through using more force than strictly necessary for the purposes of self-defence, providing that the initial decision to use force was justified. If convicted, the defence would reduce a conviction for murder to manslaughter.

As part of the consultation, we are also seeking views on a proposal to restrict the courts’ discretion to extend the normal time limit for bringing civil claims for personal injury and or death in relation to historical events outside of the UK.

We hope that the proposals set out in the consultation will help ensure that our armed forces receive the justice and fairness that they are owed. And, through the consultation, we hope to test and refine what is proposed with the aim of bringing forward legislation as soon as possible.

[HCWS1784]

Supporting Families

Penny Mordaunt Excerpts
Monday 22nd July 2019

(4 years, 9 months ago)

Written Statements
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Penny Mordaunt Portrait The Minister for Women and Equalities (Penny Mordaunt)
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In the good work plan, the Government announced the largest upgrade to workers’ rights in a generation and set out a series of ambitious reforms to ensure the UK leads the world in meeting the challenges of the changing world of work. Building on these reforms, today the Government have launched a consultation on measures to support parents to enter, remain in and return to the workforce. Employees who feel that they are more in control of the balance between home and work commitments are more likely to be engaged at work. Their employers will benefit from greater employee loyalty, commitment and motivation and are likely to be able to draw on a wider pool of talent when recruiting.

The consultation seeks views on:

high-level options for reforming parental leave and pay, and the costs, benefits and trade-offs of potential reforms;

a proposal for a new entitlement to neonatal leave and pay for parents of babies who require neonatal care following birth;

whether employers should have a duty to consider whether a job can be done flexibly and make that clear when advertising a role;

options for requiring large employers (those with 250 or more employees) to publish their family-related leave and pay policies.

The Government’s modern industrial strategy is creating a fairer and more equal workplace, to boost productivity and earning power for all. The consultation supports this by helping people manage their wider commitments in life benefiting both families and employers.

The consultation on parental leave and pay will run for 16 weeks and will end on 8 November.

The remaining consultations will run for 12 weeks until 11 October 2019. The consultation can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/good-work-plan-proposals-to-support-families.

I am placing a copy of the consultation in the Library of the House.

[HCWS1782]

Overseas Detainees: Detention and Interviewing

Penny Mordaunt Excerpts
Thursday 18th July 2019

(4 years, 9 months ago)

Written Statements
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Penny Mordaunt Portrait The Secretary of State for Defence (Penny Mordaunt)
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On 20 May 2019, in response to an urgent question, I made a statement to Parliament on Ministry of Defence internal policy with regard to the receipt and sharing of intelligence related to detainees overseas. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, my right hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury (Mr Lidington), is updating the House today. Sir Adrian Fulford, the Investigatory Powers Commissioner, has now finalised his review of the consolidated guidance and has recommended its replacement with a new document: “The Principles relating to the detention and interviewing of detainees overseas and the passing and receipt of intelligence relating to detainees”, a draft of which was provided to the Government on 12 June 2019. The Ministry of Defence, along with other Government Departments, has considered these principles, accepts them in full, and has begun work to update its internal guidance accordingly. The principles and revised supporting internal guidance will be fully implemented by the end of the year.

[HCWS1746]

Inappropriate Behaviour in the Armed Forces: Review

Penny Mordaunt Excerpts
Monday 15th July 2019

(4 years, 9 months ago)

Written Statements
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Penny Mordaunt Portrait The Secretary of State for Defence (Penny Mordaunt)
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In April of this year a report was commissioned to look into inappropriate behaviour in the armed forces. Our armed forces are the pride of our nation, and have a hard-won reputation here, and across the world.

The report which was undertaken by Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston, concluded that while the vast majority of military personnel serve with great honour and distinction, some unacceptable behaviour does occur. I am publishing the report today.

I am accepting the recommendations of the report in full, including creating a defence authority to provide centralised oversight of their implementation. Detailed work on the design of this body and its responsibilities is now under way.

We are examining the recommendations and ascertaining how we can prevent inappropriate behaviour in the first place, and where it does occur, deal with the perpetrators more effectively. Leadership is key to this approach at all levels of the services from the most senior to the most junior. Everyone has a role to play in setting and maintaining standards. Non-Commissioned Officers in particular are key in holding people to these standards and the values of their service. I am therefore, in addition to the findings of this report, looking to ensure all Non-Commissioned Officers have what they need to address poor behaviour when they see it.

This will clearly take time, and I see today as the start of this work, not the end.

[HCWS1720]

Office for Tackling Injustices

Penny Mordaunt Excerpts
Monday 15th July 2019

(4 years, 9 months ago)

Written Statements
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Penny Mordaunt Portrait The Minister for Women and Equalities (Penny Mordaunt)
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On Friday 12 July, the Prime Minister announced the creation of the Office for Tackling Injustices. This is a new organisation that will hold the Government and wider society to account for tackling key social injustices.

Despite the great progress we have made in promoting fair treatment for all in the UK, we know that too many of our citizens are still held back by the injustice of unequal treatment on the grounds of their socio-economic background, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

The Prime Minister has spoken of her determination to tackle these “burning injustices”. But all Governments should work to end the injustices that continue to characterise our country for too many. The Office for Tackling Injustices (OfTI) will focus minds on how to create a fairer country in the decades to come.

By shining a light on data on injustices and monitoring change, the OfTI will provide evidence-based challenge to future Governments and wider society to tackle disparities in social and economic outcomes. Data is a hard, sometimes uncomfortable fact, but publishing it and communicating it clearly forces Government and others to hold a mirror up to their own performance and challenge themselves to do better.

The OfTI will have a remit covering social injustices relating to ethnicity, gender, disability, socioeconomic background and LGBT. As well as annually delivering a data-driven report on progress to Parliament, the OfTI will also publish thematic studies into issues relevant to its mandate. It will make use of relevant published data from various public authorities, monitoring trends and considering the underlying causes and drivers for them.

[HCWS1723]