Last week, Gerald was pleased to accept a position on Labours Shadow Defence Team, working alongside Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith MP and Wayne David MP.
Gerald takes up his appointment at a time when Tory stealth cuts have seen the Army stripped down to fewer than 82,000 serving personnel. The 2015 Tory election manifesto promised to maintain Army numbers at 82,000 down by a total of 20,000 soldiers since 2010 as the Tory government wielded the austerity axe at the Armed Forces.
But strength has since dwindled to 78,400 – 3,500 fewer than promised.
Labour has committed to increasing defence spending in real terms to 2 per cent of GDP, ending the messy arithmetic by which the Conservatives massaged the numbers to deceive our allies, if probably not our potential foes.
Gerald’s role will focus on providing better help and support for veterans of armed conflict, and he’s keen to get stuck into the role over the next few weeks.
Gerald was pleased to accept the position;
“I’m looking forward to getting down to work to provide a better deal for our serving and ex service personnel. over the last four years, despite all the rhetoric, the Tories have cut our armed services almost to breaking point. This can’t go on.
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour party was delighted to welcome Gerald to the shadow Cabinet.
“I am delighted to welcome Gerald Jones as a full member of the Shadow Defence team. Gerald has played an excellent role supporting both the Defence and Welsh teams over the past year and I know he will build on his excellent work and experience as a champion of veterans in his new role in the Defence team.”
Nia Griffith MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, said:
“I am thrilled that Gerald has joined my team full-time. I know that he will continue to stand up for strong defences and for our brave Armed Forces personnel and veterans.
“Together with our Labour colleagues we will be exposing the Conservative Government’s appalling record of mismanagement and underfunding at the Ministry of Defence and their shocking refusal to give a much-needed pay rise for the men and women who serve in our Armed Forces.”
“Since I was first elected in 2015 I’ve developed a great working relationship with Nia who I first served under in the shadow Welsh team a few years back and with Wayne, who’s constituency Caerphilly neighbours mine and I know the three of us will work well together to hold the Tories to account.”