Welcome to the AFVBC National News & Announements, this page shows national news which may be of importance to the Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Clubs. This page may also show any publications which may help veterans or their families.
It currently costs almost £10,000 in fees for a service leaver to settle in the UK with a spouse and two children. Veterans who served for at least four years have the option to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK. A cross-party group of MPs is calling on the Home Secretary to abolish visa fees for Commonwealth servicemen and women in the British armed forces.
Thousands of retired soldiers descended on Parliament on motorbikes to protest at the decision to charge Soldier F over Bloody Sunday. Around 8,000 riders snaked through central London in an organised go-slow protest. Park Lane, one of the busiest roads in the capital, was closed to allow the bikers to form up. Traffic was brought to a halt around Parliament Square and on Westminster and Vauxhall Bridges as the protesters, engines revving constantly, slowly made their way through the city.
Bikers are holding a protest in London in response to the prosecution of a British soldier over Bloody Sunday. Organisers of the Rolling Thunder event expect thousands of motorcyclists to take part in the protest on Friday. A similar demonstration has taken place in Belfast with around 80 riders arriving at Stormont on Friday afternoon.
Gavin Williamson has launched a crusade to stop women, children and men being used as weapons of war in conflicts. The Ministry of Defence has allocated £2 million a year to run courses in training troops from around the world to recognise the complexities of gender in conflict. The training will focus on areas such as women and children in armed conflict, human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
A watchdog said the MOD has now accepted it will not meet its target of saving £310 million from civilian staff costs by next year. The Ministry of Defence is making "little progress" towards a target to cut 30% of its civilian workforce and save £310 million by 2020, Whitehall's spending watchdog has warned.