James Gray MP with representatives from Google and The Countryside Alliance Foundation
James with representatives of 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards during a Welcome Home Event for 20th Armoured Brigade
James at The Springfields Academy
James Gray MP welcoming representatives of 20th Armoured Brigade to Parliament
Mr James Gray (North Wiltshire) (Conservative): It has been a terrible weekend indeed, and all our hearts go out to the families and comrades of the people who have been killed. None the less, I stood in mourning as 300 bodies were carried down the high street of Royal Wootton Bassett in my constituency, and it seems to me that we would dishonour their memory if we were simply to say that because of this terrible weekend, we must now pull out somehow or other. We have been sent there to do a job, and we must do that job and leave with our heads held high.
The Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Philip Hammond): I completely agree with my hon. Friend. I think none of us disagrees with the proposition that we now need to extract ourselves from the combat role in Afghanistan. We have set out a timetable for doing that and a clear strategy for replacing the role that our forces play with ever more competent and capable Afghan national security forces. That is the strategy, and we will continue to deliver it.
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