Armed Forces Bill

Submitted by AWL on 21 May, 2006 - 9:52

John McDonnell MP has put two amendments to Clause 8 of the new Armed Forces Bill. Campaigners are seeking other MPs' support for his amendments before the Bill comes to the Commons on Monday 22 May.

Clause 8 of the Bill would introduce a new and tougher definition of desertion: soldiers who go absent without leave (AWOL) and intend to refuse to take part in a 'military occupation of a foreign country or territory' (8 (3) (c)) may be imprisoned 'for life' (8 (4)(a)).

John McDonnell's amendments are:

  • To delete 8 (3) (c)
  • To replace 'for life' with 'must not exceed two years'.

So far there has been a great silence from MPs, mainly due to lack of any information about this Bill. Now is our chance to provoke real opposition to it in the Commons. And if a number of MPs add their names to John McDonnell's amendments and are present on Monday ready to speak against the Bill, then we stand a good chance first that the government will have to allow the Bill has to be discussed in the Commons, and that it will be opposed in the Lords.

More on the House of Commons website.


Submitted by Janine on Thu, 25/05/2006 - 15:59

A mere 19 MPs opposed the life sentence for 'deserters'. They were:

Austin, John
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Ms Katy
Cohen, Harry
Corbyn, Jeremy
Etherington, Bill
Flynn, Paul
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Hosie, Stewart
Jones, Lynne
Llwyd, Mr. Elfyn
MacNeil, Mr. Angus
McDonnell, John
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Simpson, Alan
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Wareing, Mr. Robert N.
Wishart, Pete
Tellers for the Ayes:Mr. Neil Gerrard and
Kelvin Hopkins

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