Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and the Border, yesterday gained cross-party support in parliament for his review of how to support forces veterans who end up in the criminal justice system. Rory Stewart MP has been appointed by Ministry of Justice Secretary Chris Grayling to lead a government review into the issue.

A significant number of Forces’ veterans are now in jail. Some of them have suffered from post-traumatic stress. Rory Stewart who served alongside the military in Iraq, and then spent three years in Afghanistan, will look at the support provided for ex-service personnel with custodial or community sentences, and will seek to improve the rehabilitation programmes currently in place. At the parliamentary debate on Tuesday, colleagues from all parties, expressed a wish to support the review, and work closely with him on it,

Rory Stewart said: “It is incredibly important to make this review cross party so we can really utilise the vast amount of experience from all sides of the house. There has been very good cross-party focus on the matter over the past few years and I have a huge amount to learn. I am very much looking forward to working with colleagues across parliament to make sure we have the vest programme for veterans in the world.”

Rt Hon Elfyn Llwyd MP of Plaid Cymru said:”‘I was glad to read in the papers over the weekend that there will be a Government review on how to improve the rehabilitation of ex-service personnel who are in prison, and that it will be led by the hon. Member for Penrith and The Border (Rory Stewart). I wish him well in that work. I have a feeling that it will be done consensually and that we will all be able to muck in, as it were, and do our best to come up with some good answers for the Government, because the work is long overdue.”

Trace Crouch MP of the Conservative party said: “It is good news that my hon. Friend the Member for Penrith and The Border has been appointed to look at these issues. I hope he will notice the degree of party consensus and the wide and varied expertise that exist; he will, of course, take submissions from all parties and all those who have taken an interest in the matter for some time.”

David Anderson MP of the Labour Party said: “I am really pleased that the commission has been set up. The hon. Member for Penrith and The Border is exactly the right man to lead on it, and I ask him to come over the Pennines as quickly as he can. He will be made to feel welcome in the north-east, because people there have lived through this, and although I am telling their story, I can never relate to it in the way they can.”

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