Welcome to the British Armed Forces Federation - BAFF for short. It's an independent all-ranks staff association for members of all branches of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army and Royal Air Force, including the reserves. All UK service personnel are eligible to become members and, as BAFF is not a political organisation, to take an active part in the management and activities of the Federation. Former members of HM regular or reserve forces are also welcome.

Earlier this year we encouraged former regulars and reservists and their family members to participate in an NHS England survey about the provision of mental health services.

The survey closed on 31 March. NHS England have now said they have listened to feedback, and will announce plans shortly to improve mental health care for armed forces veterans.

Media are reporting that Public Interest Lawyers (PIL), the Birmingham-based legal firm which has acted for hundreds of Iraqi claimants seeking damages for alleged wrongdoing by British troops, intends to close at the end of this month. The Daily Mail says that the firm has asked the High Court to make an order that it had ceased to act for 187 Iraqi claimants due to its ‘permanent closure’. In a subsequent letter seen by the Mail, PIL told its clients it was closing on August 31 and would no longer act on their behalf.

The Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) has given The Sun its first reaction to Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) intending to cease operations at the end of the month following the withdrawal of their legal aid authorisation. An IHAT spokesperson told the newspaper on Monday:

Former Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sir Eric Pickles MP, was asked by the government last year to consider what further changes were needed to make the electoral system more secure. This was particularly in light of the 2015 Tower Hamlets election scandal that led to the disqualification of the elected mayor for a number of corrupt and illegal practices. Sir Eric's report has been published today, containing 50 detailed recommendations, about which BAFF has just one comment in connection with service voters.

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