Armed Forces Bill — Clause 8 — Armed Forces Covenant — 23 Jun 2021 at 17:00
The majority of MPs voted not to require central government departments to have due regard to the special situation of current or former members of the armed services when carrying out certain functions relating to housing, education and health in England.
The amendment rejected in this vote was
- Amendment 1, in clause 8, page 9, line 19, at end insert—
- “(aa) a relevant government department;”
The rejected amendment was accompanied by the following explanatory note from its proposer:
- This amendment, with amendments 2, 3 and 4, would place the same legal responsibility to have ‘due regard’ to the Armed Forces Covenant on central government and the devolved administrations as the Bill currently requires of local authorities and other public bodies.
The rejected amendment would have impacted Clause 8 of the Bill which was titled: Armed forces covenant and provided for an amendment to the Armed Forces Act 2006 which included introducing a new section titled: Due regard to principles: England which began:
- In exercising in relation to England a relevant function, a person or body specified in subsection (3) must have due regard to—
- (a) the unique obligations of, and sacrifices made by, the armed forces,
- (b) the principle that it is desirable to remove disadvantages arising for service people from membership, or former membership, of the armed forces, and
- (c) the principle that special provision for service people may be justified by the effects on such people of membership, or former membership, of the armed forces.
The relevant bodies, and functions, were very specifically set out. The functions related only to housing, education and health.
The Armed Forces Covenant states:
- ...the whole nation has a moral obligation to the members of the Naval Service, the Army and the Royal Air Force, together with their families. They deserve our respect and support, and fair treatment
- Those who serve in the Armed Forces, whether regular or Reserve, those who have served in the past, and their families, should face no disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services. Special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given most such as the injured and the bereaved.
-  Parliament's webpage on the Armed Forces Act 2021, Parliament.uk
-  Armed Forces Bill as introduced in the House of Commons on 12 May 2021 , Parliament.uk
-  Explanatory notes to the Armed Forces Bill as introduced in the House of Commons on 12 May 2021 , Parliament.uk
-  The Armed Forces Covenant, Gov.uk
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.
What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.
What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
|Party||Majority (No)||Minority (Aye)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||355 (+2 tell)||0||0||98.1%|
|Lab||0||195 (+2 tell)||0||99.5%|