‘Military Covenant’ comment by Lord Ashcroft in News of the World

BRAVERY is a truly wonderful quality. Over the past decade, in particular, our Armed Forces have been consistently asked to display courage in a series of global conflicts, including Iraq, Afghanistan and, most recently, Libya.

If we repeatedly ask our servicemen and women to risk their lives, we owe them a duty of care.

The simplest and most effective way of doing this is for the Military Covenant to be written into law.

My interest in bravery goes back to my childhood and my late father Eric’s account of his participation in the D-Day landings.

I see it as my duty to champion bravery. I have written three books on gallantry and last November I put my collection of Victoria Crosses-totalling 170 and the largest in the world-on public display at the Imperial War Museum in London.

I also see it as my duty to support the News of the World’s campaign. No one deserves our support today as much as our armed forces and I commend the paper for launching its campaign.

Britain is facing an unprecedented recession and massive cutbacks in public spending. However the Prime Minister knew this when he said that the Military Covenant would be written into law.

The members of our Armed Forces are special individuals who collectively make a special case.

The Government needs to honour its pledge… and now.

• LORD Ashcroft, KCMG, is an international businessman, philanthropist and author. He was Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party until September last year.

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