Afghan safety issue raised at Question Time

Issue 414

A SPEN mum is in talks with a former minister over army equipment for her son following last weeks BBC Question Time programme.

Sharon Light spoke out on the show, broadcast from Dewsbury Town Hall last Thursday, on behalf of her 18yearold Afghanistanbound son Matty.

She and husband Robert, the exleader of Kirklees Council, have had to pay for military webbing so that Matty can store ammunition safely.

Panelist Caroline Flint, the MP for Don Valley who quit the Government over a sexism row, responded on air to Mrs Lights concerns.

She then approached the Birkenshaw motherofthree after the show and may raise the issue of troop equipment levels with the Ministry of Defence.

Matty, a private currently stationed in Germany, had already had to buy some of his own gear and was then forced to ask his parents for help buying more.

Mrs Light said on Question Time: What really shocked me is the Government are providing basic equipment, but if he wants comfortable equipment, if he wants equipment that will do a better job, hes paying for it himself.

She was part of an allfemale audience for the first time in the programmes 30year history to mark international womens day.

Fellow audience member Joanne Jackson, of Thornhill Lees, said afterwards that she was proud to been part of such of a momentous occasion.

She commented on a question about a public sector pay freeze and drew loud applause for blaming the recession on the banks.

I was going to say something else about the economy, but the reaction to my first comment knocked me out of my stride! she joked.

It was a fantastic event that showed Dewsbury in a good light for a change. (Host) David Dimbleby said it was the best audience in his time on the show.

I hope the BBC do other special editions in future. I wouldnt object if there was an edition with an all male audience, for example.

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