Eight Airmen witnessed the Secretary of State for Defence deliver the Defence Budget and Transformation Statement at the Houses of Parliament.
The invite was a gesture by Colonel Bob Stewart, a former Officer who was the first British Commander of the United Nation forces in Bosnia. Now a member of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme, Colonel Stewart arranged the reciprocal goodwill trip. After a tour of Parliament, including areas where there is no public access, the group watched from the viewing gallery as Philip Hammond MP delivered the statement. The airmen listened to the requirement for continued recruitment within the Armed Forces despite the redundancies of SDSR.
Flying Officer Hannah Welch, who accompanied the Airmen said the visit “Has been an incredible experience, learning about the history…was fascinating and seeing the House of Commons in action when we had just minutes before been standing at the front bench was a great privilege if a little surreal!”
There are 35 ex-military personnel of all ranks in the Conservative Party. Tobias Ellwood MP, a former Officer of the Green Jackets said: “You couldn’t find a more supportive member of the Armed Forces in Parliament with Colonel Bob Stewart.” The Armed Forced Parliamentary Scheme allows MPs to engage with the Armed Forces to gain an understanding of Defence for their constituencies, to bring debate to the House of Commons and influence the laws that govern Defence.