UK councils are housing MIGRANTS before Britain’s ex-servicemen according to former army officer and UKIP leader Henry Bolton.
Mr Bolton has accused Britain’s local councils of intentionally prioritising the housing of asylum seekers and illegal migrants, whilst leaving thousands of military veterans homeless.
“The idea of having six and a half thousand asylum seekers getting housing when we’ve got seven thousand veterans on our streets is utterly appalling, and I find it abhorrent,” Henry Bolton OBE, a former army officer.
He said that councils were “deliberately” leaving veterans at the back of the queue, behind asylum seekers, and called for a change in the Armed Forces Covenant to force local authorities to house war heroes before migrants.
“All councils, of every political persuasion – these councils are being let off the hook. They’ve got pressure from various activist groups demanding that people who have come into this country – quite often absolutely illegally – are given housing.
“And in fact, the European Union, under the Dublin Three Agreement, requires us to do that. But there is no voice being given to veterans. Councils across the board, they need to be required to put veterans’ interests first,” he said.
The policy announcement was part of UKIP’s new ‘Save our Services’ campaign, with the party also proposing £5 billion extra funding for the armed forces and a new ‘Veterans Department’ within the Ministry of Defence.
Mike Hookem, the MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire and UKIP’s Veterans Spokesman, said the wording of the Armed Forces Covenant was not “strong enough or adequately enforced”.
He explained that, currently, the covenant states that local authorities “should” give priority to veterans in the area of housing, but UKIP wanted the wording changed to “must”.
“You cannot expect a council that is given woolly language like that but is, at the same time, being pilloried for not giving housing to asylum seekers, to prioritise veterans,” added Mr. Bolton.
Mr. Hookem also slammed the current state of veterans’ services as “disjointed” and said UKIP aimed to “establish a new veterans’ department within the MoD” with a minister responsible and accountable for their issues.
It would “bring together all veterans’ services and work with established charities to provide the best possible service in a range of fields,” he said.
“This new department will offer a complete package of care from the period immediately before leaving the military and through the difficult transitional period towards civilian life.”
He also called for a new medal for all veterans and more social housing for veterans, and for all those with 12 years of service and a good record to be guaranteed a job in the police, prison service, or border force.
“The fact is, if you were to treat a dog in the same some veterans are treated, you would be prosecuted,” he blasted. “Consecutive governments have continued to fail our veterans. It’s a disgrace and a shame to our nation.”