NEWS that ex-servicemen will not be given a medal to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee due to the "economic climate" has been described as a "slap in the face" by a veteran.
The Government decided to allocate the commemorative medal to members of the Armed Forces, emergency services personnel, operational prison services personnel and community support officers, all of who should be in service and have served five full years on February 6 this year.
But this news has annoyed former servicemen who have fought for their country.
Mike Smith, a member of the RAF Association at Cranwell, who served 41-years, described his feelings as aggrieved and said: "Again this is a slap in the face for service personnel and others who have loyally served the Queen and country and are being overlooked.
"Many of these have their own evidence of their efforts, others do not carry such scars but have given all of their working life to helping maintain the safety of Britain either in military uniform or the uniform of other organisations since 1953.
"Why are they not being permitted to have a Diamond Jubilee Medal?"
Between 400,000 and 450,000 people will receive a medal, with Mr Smith being one of many people to feel disappointed. He is one of thousands to have signed an online Veterans Diamond Jubilee Medal petition urging Government to re-think the criteria.
But a Government spokesman said: " The reason for this is simply that the Government has to draw the line somewhere, especially in the current economic climate, and although we appreciate that some people will be disappointed, we hope that they will understand the importance of maintaining the integrity and exclusiveness of the medal."