A Wirral MP has raised the issue of support for armed forces veterans in Parliament.

Margaret Greenwood, the MP for Wirral West, joined other Labour MPs in asking the Minister for Defence People and Veterans what support his department is providing for veterans during the Covid-19 outbreak.

In her question, Ms Greenwood highlighted a new smartphone app for veterans called the Veterans' Gateway which is funded by the government and went live on May 1.

It is essentially a self-help directory of local support organisations for veterans and their families.

The Wirral MP pressed the minister on the government's estimate of the number of veterans who do not have a smartphone and asked what the Ministry of Defence is doing to reach them.

The app can be installed on a smartphone or tablet from Google play or the Apple App Store.  

According to the House of Commons Library, the latest data shows that there are around 61,000 veterans living in Merseyside, which accounts for around 3% of the total veteran population.

Ms Greenwood said: “There are more than 60,000 armed forces veterans living in Merseyside so I was pleased to be able to raise this important issue in the House of Commons.

“Those veterans with access to a smartphone or tablet will be able to use the app, but there will be many veterans who are not able to access it and it is vital that support is there for them too.

“I would be interested to hear from any constituents in Wirral West who may have used the app so that I can report back to the minister on where improvements can be made.

“Veterans who do not have access to a smartphone or tablet can call the Veterans UK helpline for free on 0808 1914 2 18 between 10am and 3pm, Monday to Friday, if they need help.

“People can also contact the Merseyside branch of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA), a UK charity that provides lifelong support to serving men and women and veterans from the British Armed Forces and their families or dependents, on 0300 365 1885, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.”