Barnsley MPs, Michael Dugher MP, Dan Jarvis MP and Angela Smith MP, hand-delivered a joint letter this morning to the Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, at the Ministry of Defence.
The three MPs walked from Parliament to the main Ministry of Defence building on Whitehall to personally deliver the letter.
The 3rd Battalion, which is currently serving in Afghanistan, recruits heavily from Barnsley and surrounding parts of Yorkshire. The speculation over its future also comes just days before Armed Forces Day (30 June 2012).
The joint letter is signed by:
Dan Jarvis MBE MP, Member of Parliament for Barnsley Central
Michael Dugher MP, Member of Parliament for Barnsley East
Angela Smith MP, Member of Parliament for Penistone & Stocksbridge
John Healey MP, Member of Parliament for Wentworth and Dearne
Dan Jarvis, who served in The Paras on tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, said:
“David Cameron and Phillip Hammond should have the moral courage to inform our forces and their families of their intentions for the future of The Yorkshire Regiment.
“The Yorkshire Regiment are a massive asset, both to Yorkshire and to the British army. The soldiers in the Battalions continue to provide outstanding courage and service – that matters to all of us. It's not unreasonable to ask the PM and the Defence secretary to end this uncertainty and doubt.”
Michael Dugher said:
“It is disgraceful that troops currently risking their lives serving in Afghanistan have to hear speculation from back home about their Battalion being axed by the Government.
“Philip Hammond should stop this speculation immediately and assure people in the region that that their proud local regiment will not be scrapped and its members will not face redundancy when they return from active duty in Afghanistan.”