6th November


‘Let me say first of all, before I answer the question, that I am incredibly proud of our armed forces. No, it is relevant. They do an amazing job, often in incredibly difficult circumstances, and I think we should all be incredibly grateful for the way they defend our freedoms and for the sacrifices they make on our behalf.

‘Yes, I am coming to that, but I also want to say how incredibly sorry I feel for the workers who have been made redundant. I don’t think any of us here today should feel anything other than incredible sympathy for the situation they find themselves in, through no fault of their own. I have met some workers, just as I have met some members of our armed forces, and I feel incredibly proud to have met them and proud that I can feel incredibly grateful to the armed forces and at the same time incredibly sorry for the workers. I also feel incredibly grateful to the workers for the way they have worked until now on our behalf, and incredibly sorry for the armed forces who sometimes don’t receive the gratitude they deserve from every one of us.

‘Yes, I am just about to answer it. May I say before I do, though, on a personal note, that I have personally received incredibly brilliant care from the doctors and nurses of our National Health Service? I am incredibly grateful to the doctors and nurses and I am incredibly proud of our amazing health service, our brave armed forces, our hardworking workers whether they have been made redundant or not, and incredibly proud too of being able to represent and serve my constituents and my country. I think that gives an indication of what motivates me to do the job I do. I am incredibly patriotic and incredibly proud of my patriotism, not least because of the amazing job our armed forces, nurses, doctors and other workers do, often in incredibly difficult circumstances. And this is why I have made my position absolutely clear, and I think it is unreasonable to imply that I was trying to avoid doing so when I have just done so.’

Reader: James Robertson
Fiddle: Aidan O'Rourke
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