THE MP for Aberconwy, Robin Millar, has welcomed cross-party support in parliament for his private members’ bill.

On February 24, his Veterans’ Advisory Pensions Committees Bill received its second reading in parliament.

His bill received support from across the house and passed this key stage unopposed to progress to the committee stage.

The bill seeks to extend the remit of Veterans’ Advisory Pensions Committees and to expand the cohort of veterans that they can assist.


Aberconwy MP welcomes Government backing for bill supporting veterans

February 24 marked the one year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and, introducing his bill in parliament for its second reading, Mr Millar began by paying tribute to the courage of the people of Ukraine and of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

He said: “I want to make clear my own admiration and support for the people of Ukraine for their stubborn resistance that I think has inspired all in the free world and has put fear into the hearts of their would-be conquerors.

“The grim spectacle of a return of war in Europe must serve as a reminder, if indeed we needed one, that the privileges of our world, the freedoms that we enjoy, have been hard won.

“In many ways they are a gift offered by those willing to stand guard over our nation and democracy and – when required – fight to protect it.”

Introducing his Bill, Mr Millar said: “For service personnel, the last twenty five years have been defined by relentless conflict, with deployments to conflicts and wars in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Mali.

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“These former service men and women, to whom we owe so much, represent about one in 25 of our fellow citizens – or 1.9 million people.

“Since World War II, they have seen their colleagues fall in twenty-nine conflict zones across the world. They have provided vital aid, disaster relief and peacekeeping in dozens more.

“And today, as I stand in this place, British forces are deployed to support our allies across seventeen nations. They continue to ensure safe passage of world’s oceans.

“And, of course, they watch and stand ready in the defence of our own borders. They are that vital deterrent against those who would threaten our freedoms, our borders and our way of life.

“I know that the whole house will agree that we owe a great debt to these men and women.

“Conwy has the highest proportion of veterans of any county in Wales.

“I must say it has been a privilege when I have met them, to discuss life after service and also, on occasion, hear from them about their time in the Armed Forces.

“In Aberconwy I have been impressed by the work of established institutions like Blind Veterans, which operate their principal facility serving veterans from across the UK – and even overseas – from their hospital overlooking Llandudno.

“And I have been moved by the spontaneous emergence of groups and initiatives from within the community in Aberconwy, such as Military Minds FC and the Troop Café.

“These are the organic and dynamic organisations – a network of Burke’s little platoons – which need encouragement and enabling in their work of support for veterans, more than any direction and regulation.

“And it is to enable the spirit of these volunteers that the bill is intended.”

The minister for Defence People, Veterans and Service Families, Dr Andrew Murrison MP, said: "I offer my congratulations to my honourable friend, the member for Aberconwy, both on the content of the bill and the manner in which he has presented it.

"This government continue to uphold the covenant between our nation and our armed forces. As part of that, we will do all we can to ensure my honourable friend’s bill becomes statute.

“It is fully supported by the government."

The Bill passed unopposed and will now proceed to its committee stage.