Call for ‘Prince Philip Cross’ to honour emergency service workers killed on duty
By Richard Wheeler, PA Parliamentary Editor
Relatives of emergency service workers killed on duty should receive an award named after the Duke of Edinburgh, the Commons has heard.
Conservative MP and former army officer Bob Stewart said the badge would be similar to the Elizabeth Cross given to the next of kin of military personnel killed on operations or as a result of terrorism.
He proposed calling the new award the “Prince Philip Cross”, subject to permission from the Queen, and explained it would apply to members of the police, fire and ambulance services.
The MP for Beckenham told the House of Commons: “Surely the next of kin of blue light service personnel who die in the service of their country are just as deserving as our armed forces personnel who die for the same reason.
“Personally I believe at this time that the award might be called the Prince Philip Cross, with the permission of Her Majesty of course.”
Conservative former minister Mark Francois backed the “excellent” idea.
“I think given that Prince Philip’s whole life was about public service, providing that the palace and ultimately Her Majesty The Queen approve of the concept, naming such a cross after His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh would be extremely fitting,” he said.
Defence minister Leo Docherty, replying for the Government, said Home Secretary Priti Patel was committed to reviewing the current recognition and commemoration of the police to see if there was anything more that could be done.
The minister said he was “supportive of the intention” behind Mr Stewart’s proposal to give blue light workers killed on duty similar recognition to their military counterparts.
Mr Docherty noted the honours system “operates independently” of the Government, concluding: “While I am unable to make any commitment in respect to (Mr Stewart’s) specific proposal, I do want to offer my personal assurances that the Government will explore and carefully consider all options for recognition and commemoration.”