Burton’s MP travels to Falklands to experience life with British armed forces
Burton’s Member of Parliament Andrew Griffiths is flying to the Falkland Islands to experience life there with the British armed forces, reports Burton Mail. MP Griffiths will travel to the South Atlantic with the RAF under the All Parliamentary Armed Services Scheme, ‘a mini- Territorial Army for MPs’.
During the Tory’s stay in the southern hemisphere, he will try his hand at bayonet training, sleep outdoors in a tent and bed down in the relative comfort of a bunk on board HMS York.
The 40-year-old and five other MPs will also see Typhoons on patrol, travel around by helicopter, meet the Falklands’ governor and, most poignantly of all, visit the memorial to the servicemen and women who lost their lives in the 1982 Falklands’ conflict with Argentina.
“The whole point is we get to experience what a member of the armed services would experience,” Mr Griffiths said.
“It will give us a greater understanding of the life of a member of the armed forces so when we have debates in Parliament we have a better understanding of their lives, conditions and views.
“It will be no holds barred. We will sleep where they sleep, eat what they eat and experience the conditions they have to live and work in.
“Most importantly, we will get to talk to ordinary members of the armed forces without somebody looking over their shoulders and hear from them their views, concerns and opinions so as MP we can represent them in Parliament.”
Mr Griffiths’ 18-hour journey to the Falklands will begin Sunday when he leaves RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire with the other MPs and their military escorts.
“I’m excited because I think it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience something that most people will never experience and see things that many people will never see.
“I remember vividly the Falklands war and watching avidly the nine o’clock news for reports of what was happening in Port Stanley, and I remember the homecoming when the aircraft carrier came into port and the national mood at the time.
“I’ve also met people like Simon Weston who were so badly injured and scarred in the war.
“One of the things I’m particularly looking forward to is going to the memorial, which was opened by Margaret Thatcher, and going to pay my respects to the brave servicemen who lost their lives defending British subjects.
“It was a key battle and is an important piece of British history.”
MP Griffiths said “it’s such a superb opportunity and such a great privilege I did not think I could turn it down”.