Medals Call Rejected By MPs

Posted on October 27, 2011 by


Medals Call Rejected By MPs


Thursday, October 20, 2011


Source: BFBS

MPs have rejected an amendment to the Armed Forces Bill, calling for veterans to be permitted to wear medals handed out by Commonwealth countries just as they would wear awards from the Queen.


Peers had demanded the change but ministers claimed it would lead to inconsistencies in the way recipients of medals were decided.


But MPs voted by 263 to 216, a Government majority of 47, to reject the Lords’ amendment.


The Bill will now go back to the Lords where peers will decide whether to press ahead with their demands. Once they have dropped the amendment, the Bill is expected to receive Royal Ascent.


Armed Forces Minister Andrew Robathan said the Government would review the way medals were handed out, but claimed the House of Lords amendment would effectively take power away from senior military figures and the Queen.


MPs were told the changes to the legislation would allow British veterans awarded the Pingat Jasa Malaysia medal for service during the Malayan Emergency and Malaysian-Indonesian Confrontation of the late 1950s and early 1960s to wear the award.


Under current rules veterans awarded the medal by the Malaysian government cannot wear it.


Shadow defence minister Gemma Doyle said the Government’s stance was unfair. She told MPs: “We cannot continue to have such anomalies of veterans being awarded a medal but not being given the right to wear it.”


But Mr Robathan said the peers’ amendment would allow parliament to overturn previous decisions made by the Queen to award medals, while at the same time doing away with “safe-guards” to ensure a consistent approach to recognising bravery.