Rishi Sunak fights back after his National Service plan is ridiculed: PM ... trends now

Rishi Sunak fights back after his National Service plan is ridiculed: PM ... trends now
Rishi Sunak fights back after his National Service plan is ridiculed: PM ... trends now

Rishi Sunak fights back after his National Service plan is ridiculed: PM ... trends now

Rishi Sunak was forced to defend his National Service programme last night.

Amid unanswered questions about the details of the plan and how it would work, the Prime Minister assured voters that it would open doors for teenagers that they wouldn't otherwise get through.

The policy announcement sparked a heated debate over the weekend – with Labour branding it 'desperate' and even some Conservatives worried that it was akin to a 'grown-up Boy Scouts'. But others in the party backed the PM, as did former defence chiefs.

Under the plan, 18-year-olds will be given a choice between a full-time placement in the Armed Forces for 12 months or spending one weekend a month for a year volunteering' in their community. Last night, it was revealed that teenagers would be incentivised to sign up for the scheme with fast-tracked interviews for graduate schemes in both the private and public sectors, and the opportunity to highlight National Service on their UCAS applications to help them getting into university.

Under the plan, 18-year-olds will be given a choice between a full-time placement in the Armed Forces for 12 months or spending one weekend a month for a year volunteering' in their community

Under the plan, 18-year-olds will be given a choice between a full-time placement in the Armed Forces for 12 months or spending one weekend a month for a year volunteering' in their community

The policy announcement sparked a heated debate over the weekend ¿ with Labour branding it 'desperate'

The policy announcement sparked a heated debate over the weekend – with Labour branding it 'desperate'

The policy announcement sparked a heated debate over the weekend – with Labour branding it 'desperate' and even some Conservatives worried that it was akin to a 'grown-up Boy Scouts'. But others in the party backed the PM, as did former defence chiefs.

How ministers rubbished Rishi's scheme only last week 

A Tory defence minister rejected the prospect of National Service just two days before the Tories announced they would introduce it if they win the election.

Andrew Murrison said there were ‘no plans’ to introduce the policy, adding that it could damage morale if ‘potentially unwilling’ recruits were forced to serve alongside Armed Forces personnel.

Rishi Sunak announced over the weekend plans to make 18-year-olds take part in a form of ‘mandatory’ National Service, either on a 12-month placement in the military or by doing volunteer work. But just two days beforehand, Mr Murrison, responding to a written parliamentary question on behalf of the Government, expressed opposition to any restoration of National Service.

In the statement – published on Thursday, after Mr Sunak had called the election – the minister also said that if recruits were kept apart from regular forces, it would be difficult to find meaningful roles for them, ‘potentially harming motivation and discipline’. He added: ‘There are no current plans for the restoration of any form of National Service.’

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Under the plan, 18-year-olds will be given a choice between a full-time placement in the Armed Forces for 12 months or spending one weekend a month for a year

The Tories would also encourage employers to consider those who complete the Armed Forces placement during job applications.

However, the Armed Forces option would be selective – with only around 30,000 placements for 'the brightest and best'.

Studies from Norway and Israel, which have national military service schemes, suggest they give youngsters a 'leg up' into subsequent careers, the Tories said.

The Conservatives have promised to establish a Royal Commission, bringing in expertise

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