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Help for Heroes joined forces with Fighting With Pride, the leading organisation for LGBT+ veterans, to meet Crispin Blunt MP this week. Blunt, who has represented Reigate since 1997, is a former army captain and has been a leading voice in Westminster for LGBT+ rights since coming out as gay in 2013.

This meeting came at a crucial time in the campaign for justice for LGBT+ veterans who were wrongfully discharged, as Lord Etherton’s review examining the experience of LGBT+ veterans affected by the pre-2000 ban on homosexuality in the Armed Forces is expected to report to Government later this year. Mr Blunt was keen to raise awareness of the review within Parliament and to support its upcoming recommendations, which is expected to include an official apology from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and financial reparations.

British military truck with rainbow flag in London
British military truck participates in the Gay Pride Parade, adorned with rainbow and other LGBT+ flags. London UK 07/04/ 2018 - Koca Vehbi

We are delighted to be working with Fighting With Pride and Crispin Blunt MP to bring justice to veterans who have suffered discrimination and mistreatment within and after their time in our Armed Forces. We look forward to working in further collaboration in the next few months.’

Rachel Taggart-Ryan

Senior Public Affairs and Policy Manager

We also discussed the recent discovery that the records of disciplinary action taken against those accused of misconduct under this ban were destroyed by military police in 2010. The MOD has stated that it received legal advice that such files should be erased from service records. Although the basis of this advice and under whose authority it was carried out remains unclear.

Following this meeting, Mr Blunt has called upon the MOD to publish this advice and to offer assurances that the deletion of these records will not adversely affect any future claims for compensation, restoration of lost pension entitlements, or admissions of fault from the MOD.

Crispin Blunt is a leading voice within Parliament for LGBT+ rights and, as a veteran, is uniquely placed to stand up for the those who were shamed, bullied, and had their careers and pensions rights wrongfully stripped away. His support will be vital in ensuring that Lord Etherton’s review is a turning point in the treatment of LGBT+ veterans.’

Caroline Paige and Craig Jones MBE

Leaders of Fighting With Pride

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