Supporting our armed forces

On Saturday, we marked the 75th Anniversary of the Victory over Japan and the end of the Second World War.

Those that fought in the War in the East often refer to themselves as the Forgotten Army. As a nation, we must never forget the extraordinary sacrifice of those who served, both from the United Kingdom and from across the Commonwealth and other Allied nations.

As we remember them, I would like to draw attention to our very own Trooper Denis Ireland.

Trooper Denis, who turned 97 in July, served our country in the Second World War in North Africa and Italy. I recently had the honour of stopping by his home to congratulate him for his superb fundraising efforts.

By walking 97 times up and down his drive during lockdown, he raised over £10,000 for the Great Oaks Hospice in Coleford, where his daughter Jan is one of the team, to support the good work they do.

I am grateful to all those who have served our country – and especially those who currently serve at home or overseas.

Earlier this month, I was privileged to visit Beachley Barracks, home to 1st Battalion the Rifles. I was updated about the challenges that 1 Rifles have experienced lately within their core military role, and also the support they have provided during the coronavirus pandemic.

I will continue to support our Armed Forces and their contribution to our country.

On a final note, I thought it would be helpful to inform my constituents that Ofqual and the Government have decided that GCSE and A-Level students will be awarded their centre assessment grade for this summer – that is, the grade their school or college estimated was the grade they would most likely have achieved in their exam – or their moderated grade, whichever is higher.

There was no easy solution to the problem of awarding exam results when no exams have taken place, but I hope that this will provide some comfort and certainty to everyone. To those teachers, parents and students who have contacted me on this matter – I passed on exactly what you thought to Ministers over the weekend and I am pleased that we were listened to.