Aldershot MP Gerald Howarth has called on the government to issue vouchers so that families can send servicemen a free parcel each week.

Mr Howarth, who is shadow Minister of Defence, said: "The big complaint of soldiers' families is the cost of sending parcels to their menfolk in the Gulf."

"They want to send their men in the desert things like sweets, baby wipes, moisturising cream and items of clothing they have requested, and they want to do so now, when they are most needed.

"Yet, Post Offices have been charging anything up to £19 for parcels.

"We believe the government needs to move now and issue to each servicemen's family one weekly voucher for one free delivery per week. Vouchers could be distributed through the welfare systems operated by each military unit. We think this would be an immediate, practical step which would be really appreciated."