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Liberal Democrats step up calls for National Defence Medal

December 29, 2011 2:31 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Co-chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on International Affairs, Martin Horwood, and Lord (Monroe) Palmer, are also pressing for changes to the way medals are awarded and how those awarded by other nations can be worn. They are calling for the Honours and Decorations Committee, which controls the awarding of medals, to meet in public and to be reconstituted under an independent chair, with a membership recognised by veterans as being truly independent.

Commenting, Martin Horwood said:

"A National Defence Medal would be a small token of appreciation for the huge debt that everyone in Britain owes to the brave members of our Armed Services, past and present.

"For too long decisions about medals have been made behind closed doors. We need to bring the debate and consideration into the public gaze, so that veterans and current service personnel can contribute their views and see how decisions are reached."

Commenting further, Lord Palmer said:

"We achieved significant success in the House of Lords by getting Government agreement that the Pinjat Jasa Malaysia medal, which could be accepted but not worn, can now be worn. We must now go on to make the whole decision making process more transparent.

"I hope that as part of the review, a National Defence Medal can be instituted which can be applied for by all those who have served in the armed forces since 1945."