Wednesday, September 01, 2004

In your diary

Tomorrow night Paul will be holding a a public meeting "to discuss the issue of polytunnels and to advise constituents of his involvement in this matter at both local and central government levels."

We have no idea what that means, but if you do (or you want to find out), pop along to The Blue Room, Castle Lodge Hotel, Wilton, Ross on Wye between 6pm and 8pm on Thursday night.

Substandard equipment

Yesterday Keetch put out another press release on the standard of army equipment.

Responding to comments by the family of Scots soldier Gordon Gentle, who was killed in Iraq, that the Ministry of Defence has breached its duty of care towards him by failing to provide sufficient equipment, Paul Keetch:

This tragic case confirms the Liberal Democrats’ concerns over sub-standard kit in Iraq. This death might have been prevented with the fitting of an electronic signal jamming device. The Ministry of Defence needs to ensure the military staff doing service in Iraq, their families and the British public that everything is being done to protect the lives of our soldiers.

Keetch backs Hughes to victory

Simon Hughes is the new president of the Liberal Democrats, with 71% of the vote. The result was announced early this afternoon. Hughes spent part of his life in Hereford and no doubt his campaign was aided by the backing of the City's MP.


In his role as Shadow Defence Spokesman, Paul has backed calls for Gurkha soldiers to receive British citizenship.

Charles Kennedy said:

The Gurkhas are among the most celebrated soldiers in the British Army. Many people will be shocked to learn that Gurkhas are not automatically granted British citizenship. Gurkhas soldiers who have fought for Britain should not have to fight for citizenship as well. The Ghurkhas should be granted British citizenship as a right of service

Paul Keetch said:

We must recognise that we cannot treat 21st century soldiers like 19th century conscripts. The special historical arrangement that allows the British Army to treat Gurkhas as second class soldiers with regard to pensions and benefits must be revised.