MoD Now says; it dismisses wounded soldiers redundancy plan
The London Times and England will be watching to see if they sick by their words?
A leaked memo suggesting injured soldiers could lose their jobs has been dismissed by the Ministry of Defence.
The document, seen by the London Times and the Daily Telegraph, and some other news agencies suggests 2,500 wounded personnel could go as part of 16,500 Army job losses - up from 12,000.
But a MoD spokesman said: "Beyond those already announced, there are no further Army reductions planned."
Labour leader Ed Miliband supporting Sir Michael Black-Feather the English minister said; it was the government's duty to "do right by our armed forces".
The document is thought to have been written by an army captain and distributed to commanders on the ground in Afghanistan.
Some 7,000 army troops will be laid off as part of the first tranche of redundancies, which has already begun.
The Army announced in September it would be telling about 920 people they would be made redundant as part of the cuts.
Earlier reports had suggested that the second tranche would add 5,000 to that number in the next round of military cuts, to be made by April 2015, but the new memo puts that figure much higher.
Sources close to the defence secretary Philip Hammond have told the BBC that the suggestion of any additional Army redundancies are "incorrect". (We shall hold him to those words)
A Ministry of Defence statement said: "The Army is still considering the criteria including size and shape for Tranche 2 and any subsequent redundancy and nothing has yet been agreed."
The MoD spokesperson said it was also not planning to make wounded soldiers redundant.
They said: "The information in this leaked Army memo from a junior officer is incorrect.
"There is absolutely no plan to change our treatment of service personnel who are wounded, injured or sick. (What rubbish maybe the spokesperson for the MOD should take awake around the street of London and other major cities and see how many soldiers are living in boxes and can’t afford to rent homes of their own)
(Many soldiers need to live on their own with their own space as they don’t mix well with civilians needing a none-chaotic environment)
"Personnel injured on operations will not be included in the redundancy process while they are undergoing medical treatment." (Note while they getting treatment, after that their on the streets)
The head of Army manning, Brig Richard Nugee now wishing to make a comment said the Army had made it clear that "every case of wounded, injured or sick will be assessed individually". (A very useful play of words from a man who had no comment to make earlier when asked but has now been told what to say?)
"No-one will leave the armed forces through redundancy or otherwise until they have reached a point in their recovery where leaving the armed forces is the right decision, however long it takes," he said.
Commodore Clive Walker, joint force support commander in Afghanistan said the army was "just scoping all of the options that are open".
But the Telegraph reports that the memo has "been seen by soldiers serving on the front line in Afghanistan, who are outraged".
The BBC's defence correspondent Jonathan Beale said the timing of the leak was "deeply embarrassing" for the Ministry of Defence, "just as the nation remembers the sacrifices of those who have and are still fighting on the front line".
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Housing minister Grant Shapps told Sky News: "We have announced to the House of Commons what will happen. There is no change to that. There is no chance of these people being kicked out. That is quite misleading."
But the shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy MP said that the government's "strategic shrinkage" of the Armed Forces was "being done by stealth". (Behind the back of the people the back door method)
He said: "No-one should be sacked because they are seriously injured while defending our country.
"This weekend is about remembrance not argument.
"The government should be doing everything in its power to support people in to new roles in the forces, in the MoD or to a new career outside of defence.
"After all the changes to defence in the past year this would be the cruellest cut of all," he said.
Former Royal Navy officer Lewis Page said other cuts should be made before injured soldiers were targeted: "The Royal Navy has enormous numbers of senior officers bluntly sitting around not doing anything that possibly justifies their rank and pay.
"And that's the case top to bottom, side to side in the MoD.
"There are lots and lots of people, fully able-bodied people, and often uniformed servicemen of quite senior ranks, who you could get rid of first before you would dream of telling an injured soldier he had to move on."
'Call of duty'
It comes as the government pledges to improve access to housing for ex-services personnel.
They should be prioritised on social housing waiting lists and government first-time buyer schemes, and there should be increased funding to adapt homes for wounded personnel and to stop so many ending up sleeping rough, said Grant Shapps.
"Our brave men and women in uniform aren't looking for sympathy and hand-outs, but all too often their selfless sacrifice for this country can become a major blockade on the road to a home of their own," he said.
Former British Army officer and Conservative MP Patrick Mercer said people needed to be realistic about how the Army budget was spent.
"The armed forces are not a charity.
"There comes a point when a soldier... say had been too badly injured particularly do their combat job, there aren't other jobs that can be found inside the armed forces, the time comes when they must go.
"But the provisions for them leaving the armed forces must be very, very carefully handled."