Mike Hancock CBE - Liberal Democrat MP for Portsmouth South

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Arctic Convoy Medal to be Awarded to Veterans

19 December 2012

Arctic Veterans to Receive Medal


Mike Hancock (MP for Portsmouth South) was today pleased by the news that the Arctic Convoy Medal is finally to be awarded to convoy veterans.

Mike has been calling for the UK Government to properly recognise the service and sacrifice made on the Russian convoy missions for over 20 years and has strongly supported the recommendation to proceed with the awarding of the medal. Over 65,000 British sailors were involved in the missions, enduring freezing conditions to provide vital supplies to Russia.

Commenting this morning Mike said, " This medal is an amazing tribute to the perseverance of Arctic convoy veteran commander Eddie Grenfell and others, some of whom have sadly died. Unfortunately previous governments have denied these people the right to something they deserved a long time ago.

I will be writing to the Prime Minister to put pressure on him to ensure the decision to present the medal is made post-haste and that families of veterans who have passed away are able to apply for the award. "

Following the 2010 election the Coalition Government made a commitment to review the rules surrounding the award of military campaign medals as part of work to strengthen the military covenant. The subsequent medal review which took place in 2011 failed to consult externally, however, and as such was widely criticised for its lack of transparency. Following Liberal Democrat support for the National Defence Medal campaign, both the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister expanded the review to have a broader scope and an independent lead.

Commenting further Mike said, " I am very pleased with the findings by the Sir John Holmes' review, but this has come too late for many of our ex-servicemen. Their bravery deserved to have been recognised no matter how long ago they served and this process could have been completed a lot quicker. I hope the Government will waste no more time in awarding these medals.

Mike will continue to fight to ensure eligible veterans receive their medals as soon as possible.


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