Tonia Antoniazzi MP has called on the government to reward service personnel who took part in the evacuation of Afghanistan with medals.
More than 1,000 UK personnel took part in Operation Pitting, which airlifted 15,000 people fleeing oppression and persecution to safety as the country fell to the Taliban.
The mission was the largest of its kind since the Second World War and Labour has said that this ‘astonishing feat’ deserves formal recognition.
Shadow Armed Forces Minister Stephen Morgan has written to the Defence Secretary to urge him to honour service personnel with medals.
Under existing criteria, troops would not receive medals as the mission did not meet the 30-days continuous service for which they are awarded.
Labour has dismissed this as an ‘arbitrary timeframe’ and said that the criteria for medallic recognition needed to shift to reflect the changing nature of conflicts that our armed forces are involved in.
Tonia Antoniazzi MP said, “The role our armed forces played in the evacuation of Afghanistan was nothing short of exceptional. In just 14 days service personnel airlifted 15,000 people to safety in the largest operation of its kind since the Second World War.
“Awarding medals would not just be a fitting acknowledgement of the professionalism with which our service personnel undertook their dangerous mission, it would also go a long way to expressing the pride the nation feels in their service.
Shadow Armed Forces Minister Stephen Morgan said, “Despite the government’s woeful mismanagement of the Afghanistan crisis, no one can deny that the bravery, compassion and integrity of our armed forces displayed during their dangerous mission deserves formal recognition.
“Ministers should swiftly move to honour the heroic efforts of our service personnel with medals. The only thing standing in the way of this is stuffy conventionalism.”