Sir Julian Lewis: Does the review report [LGBT Veterans Independent Review] throw any light on the strange paradox that this ban was so rigidly enforced in peacetime, yet during the first and second world wars there was mass conscription, as a result of which many gay military personnel served with distinction and were awarded the highest medals for gallantry?
[The Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Ben Wallace): That is a pretty cruel reflection on a state, and it affected not just LGBT people but women. In the first and second world wars, women kept industry going. They kept the home fires burning and kept the factories going. Women were not allowed to fly fighter planes in war, but they were allowed to deliver them. Then, after the war, everyone went back to treating women as, in some cases, second-class citizens in the workplace. It is a good observation that we should not repeat this, and that we should embrace the fact we now have great achievers serving in our armed forces who are gay. This is the way to ensure that we set the right example for the future.]