House of Lords Calling Notice

Contact: Owen Williams 020 7219 8659


The House of Lords will next week debate the Lords Constitution Committee's report Waging War: Parliament's Role and Responsibility.

The Committee's report, which was published in July 2006, recommended a new constitutional convention that in future parliamentary approval should be obtained before British troops are deployed into conflict situations overseas.

The Government rejected the Committee's recommendations despite public statements from Gordon Brown supporting the further restriction of executive power in this field and "a detailed consideration of the role of Parliament in the declaration of peace and war". Both David Cameron and Sir Menzies Campbell have also publicly supported the principle of requiring parliamentary approval ahead of troop deployment.

The debate will be held on Tuesday 1st May and is scheduled to begin at some point between 4:30pm and 6pm.

Lord Holme, Chairman of the Lords Constitution Committee, will open the debate and the Lord Chancellor, who gave evidence to the Committee during their inquiry, will speak for the Government.

Other high profile Peers who are down to speak include Lord Garden, a former Air Marshal, and Lord Norton of Louth, the constitutional expert.

Lord Holme, welcoming the debate, said:

"I am pleased this debate is finally taking place. The Committee has been very disappointed with the Government's tardy and negative response to our original report, which failed to give any real consideration to our authoritative recommendations.

"We felt the Government's inadequate response was reflective of divisions in the cabinet, with Gordon Brown supporting a stronger parliamentary role in troop deployment but the Prime Minister and Lord Chancellor remaining opposed.

"This debate will be a good opportunity for the House to express its views on the matter and for the Government to explain its reasons for rejecting the Committee's recommendations."

Notes to Editors

1. The Constitution Committee's original report, published on 27 July 2006, is available online at:

Their follow up report on the Government's response was published on 7 November 2006 and is available at:

2. The list of peers who will speak in the debate on 1 May is updated regularly. The latest list is available at: