Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill: Press Notice

20 December 2005, Session 2005-06

Election of Chairman and Call for Evidence

The Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill was appointed by the House of Commons on Monday 19 December and met for the first time today, Tuesday 20 December.  Mr George Howarth was elected as Chairman.  The membership of the Committee is as follows:

Mr George Howarth MP (Chairman) (Lab, Knowsley North & Sefton East)
Vera Baird (Lab, Redcar)
Mr Simon Burns (Con, West Chelmsford)
Mr David Burrowes (Con, Enfield, Southgate)
Mr Alan Campbell (Lab, Tynemouth)
Ben Chapman (Lab, Wirral South)
Mr Gerald Howarth (Con, Aldershot)
Mr Kevan Jones (Lab, North Durham)
Robert Key (Con, Salisbury)
Sarah McCarthy-Fry (Lab, Portsmouth North)
Mr Michael Moore (LD, Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk)
Bob Russell (LD, Colchester)
Jim Sheridan (Lab, Paisley & Renfrewshire North)
Mr Don Touhig (Lab/Co-op, Islwyn) 

Written evidence is invited from interested parties on the provisions of the Armed Forces Bill.  The Select Committee is working to a tight timetable and it would therefore be helpful to receive these written memoranda by Friday 27 January 2006 at the latest.  The Committee will also invite certain bodies to give oral evidence.  Organisations who wish to be considered as potential oral witnesses are asked to contact the Clerk as soon as possible.

It is the normal practice of select committees to publish written and oral evidence.

For further information, please contact Richard Cooke, Clerk of the Committee, on 020 7219 3281; or Jessica Bridges-Palmer, Committee media officer, on 020 7219 0724.


Submissions should be in Word or rich text format and sent by e-mail to The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.

Submissions must address the terms of reference. They should be as brief as possible, and certainly no more than 3,000 words. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, [and the document must include an executive summary, ideally no more than one page long].

Committees make public much of the evidence they receive during inquiries. If you do not wish your submission to be published, you must clearly say so. If you wish to include private or confidential information in your submission to the Committee, please contact the Clerk of the Committee to discuss this. Please bear in mind that Committees are not able to investigate individual cases.

Personal information, such as address and contact details, should be provided separately from the body of your submission. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted, no public use should be made of the submission unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee.

NOTE: The Armed Forces Bill was presented to Parliament on 30 November 2005 and had its Second Reading on 12 December 2005. It is available on the Parliamentary website at

An Armed Forces Bill is required every five years in order to continue in force the provisions of the current Service legislation relating to Service discipline, and to make any amendments.  It is usual for a Select Committee to consider the Bill and other related issues and to report to the House.