Ministry of Defence

We protect the security, independence and interests of our country at home and abroad. We work with our allies and partners whenever possible. Our aim is to ensure that the armed forces have the training, equipment and support necessary for their work, and that we keep within budget.



Secretary of State

 Portrait

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Defence

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
Democratic Unionist Party
Gavin Robinson (DUP - Belfast East)
Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Defence)

Labour
John Healey (Lab - Wentworth and Dearne)
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

Liberal Democrat
Baroness Smith of Newnham (LD - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Defence)

Labour
Lord Tunnicliffe (Lab - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Defence)

Plaid Cymru
Hywel Williams (PC - Arfon)
Shadow PC Spokesperson (Defence)

Labour
Lord Coaker (Lab - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Defence)

Liberal Democrat
Richard Foord (LD - Tiverton and Honiton)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Defence)
Baroness Smith of Newnham (LD - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Defence)

Scottish National Party
Martin Docherty-Hughes (SNP - West Dunbartonshire)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence)

Labour
Baroness Anderson of Stoke-on-Trent (Lab - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Defence)
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Labour
Luke Pollard (Lab - Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport)
Shadow Minister (Defence)
Maria Eagle (Lab - Garston and Halewood)
Shadow Minister (Defence)
Steve McCabe (Lab - Birmingham, Selly Oak)
Shadow Minister (Defence)
Ministers of State
James Heappey (Con - Wells)
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
James Cartlidge (Con - South Suffolk)
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
Earl of Minto (Con - Excepted Hereditary)
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Andrew Murrison (Con - South West Wiltshire)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
Scheduled Event
Monday 25th March 2024
14:30
Ministry of Defence
Oral questions - Main Chamber
25 Mar 2024, 2:30 p.m.
Defence (including Topical Questions)
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Debates
Thursday 22nd February 2024
Ukraine
Commons Chamber
Select Committee Docs
Wednesday 21st February 2024
15:38
Select Committee Inquiry
Thursday 21st September 2023
Women in the Armed Forces: Follow-Up

In 2021, the Defence Sub-Committee, chaired by Sarah Atherton MP, conducted an inquiry into Women in the Armed Forces and …

Written Answers
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Armed Forces: Foreign Nationals
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many and what proportion of (a) Commonwealth and (b) other foreign …
Secondary Legislation
Monday 22nd January 2024
Single Source Contract (Amendment) Regulations 2024
Part 2 of the Defence Reform Act 2014 (c. 20) (“the Act”) establishes a regulatory framework for single source contracts …
Bills
Tuesday 26th January 2021
Armed Forces Act 2021
A Bill to continue the Armed Forces Act 2006; to amend that Act and other enactments relating to the armed …

Ministry of Defence Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Feb. 19
Oral Questions
Feb. 05
Topical Questions
Feb. 01
Urgent Questions
Feb. 21
Written Statements
Dec. 19
Westminster Hall
Jan. 26
Adjournment Debate
View All Ministry of Defence Commons Contibutions

Bills currently before Parliament

Ministry of Defence does not have Bills currently before Parliament


Acts of Parliament created in the 2019 Parliament

Introduced: 26th January 2021

A Bill to continue the Armed Forces Act 2006; to amend that Act and other enactments relating to the armed forces; to make provision about service in the reserve forces; to make provision about pardons for certain abolished service offences; to make provision about war pensions; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 15th December 2021 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 18th March 2020

A Bill to Make provision about legal proceedings and consideration of derogation from the European Convention on Human Rights in connection with operations of the armed forces outside the British Islands.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 29th April 2021 and was enacted into law.

Ministry of Defence - Secondary Legislation

Part 2 of the Defence Reform Act 2014 (c. 20) (“the Act”) establishes a regulatory framework for single source contracts (that is, contracts which are not subject to competitive tendering processes) to procure goods, works and services for defence purposes. The framework applies to qualifying defence contracts (that is, contracts to which the Secretary of State is a party and which meet the criteria in section 14(2) of the Act) and to qualifying sub-contracts (that is, contracts intended to secure the delivery of goods, works or services required under a qualifying defence contract and which meet the criteria in section 28(3) or (4) of the Act). The framework is overseen and monitored by the Single Source Regulations Office (“the SSRO”), a non-departmental public body established by the Act. The Single Source Contract Regulations 2014 (S.I. 2014/3337) (“the Principal Regulations”) were made to implement the detail of the Act’s framework.
These Regulations amend the Armed Forces (Minor Punishments and Limitation on Reduction in Rank) Regulations 2023 by substituting a new regulation 5.
View All Ministry of Defence Secondary Legislation

Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

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Petitions with most signatures
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17,779 Signatures
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(395 in the last 7 days)
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2,998 Signatures
(30 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
2,551 Signatures
(28 in the last 7 days)
Petition Debates Contributed
108,278
Petition Closed
6 Feb 2022
closed 2 years ago

We are demanding that the government treats Gurkhas fairly and pays them the same pension as other British veterans of the same rank and service. Many Gurkhas joined the Queen’s Gurkha Army believing their pension would sustain them and their families but sadly this has not been the case.

There is no excuse for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to continue to effectively fund the slaughter of bears for ceremonial headgear since an indistinguishable alternative has been produced, which is waterproof, and mimics real bear fur in appearance and performance.

View All Ministry of Defence Petitions

Departmental Select Committee

Defence Committee

Commons Select Committees are a formally established cross-party group of backbench MPs tasked with holding a Government department to account.

At any time there will be number of ongoing investigations into the work of the Department, or issues which fall within the oversight of the Department. Witnesses can be summoned from within the Government and outside to assist in these inquiries.

Select Committee findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.


11 Members of the Defence Committee
John Spellar Portrait
John Spellar (Labour - Warley)
Defence Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Gavin Robinson Portrait
Gavin Robinson (Democratic Unionist Party - Belfast East)
Defence Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Emma Lewell-Buck Portrait
Emma Lewell-Buck (Labour - South Shields)
Defence Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Mark Francois Portrait
Mark Francois (Conservative - Rayleigh and Wickford)
Defence Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Richard Drax Portrait
Richard Drax (Conservative - South Dorset)
Defence Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Derek Twigg Portrait
Derek Twigg (Labour - Halton)
Defence Committee Member since 11th May 2020
Kevan Jones Portrait
Kevan Jones (Labour - North Durham)
Defence Committee Member since 11th May 2020
Sarah Atherton Portrait
Sarah Atherton (Conservative - Wrexham)
Defence Committee Member since 8th November 2022
Martin Docherty-Hughes Portrait
Martin Docherty-Hughes (Scottish National Party - West Dunbartonshire)
Defence Committee Member since 12th September 2023
Jesse Norman Portrait
Jesse Norman (Conservative - Hereford and South Herefordshire)
Defence Committee Member since 11th December 2023
Jeremy Quin Portrait
Jeremy Quin (Conservative - Horsham)
Defence Committee Member since 17th January 2024
Defence Committee: Previous Inquiries
The Integrated Security, Defence and Foreign Policy Review The Security of 5G SDSR 2015 and the Army inquiry Russia: implications for UK defence and security inquiry Ministry of Defence Annual Report and Accounts 2015–16 inquiry BBC Monitoring inquiry Defence Acquisition and Procurement inquiry Awards for Valour (Protection) Bill inquiry Naval Procurement: Type 26 and Type 45 inquiry NATO Warsaw summit and Chilcot Report Work of the Department 2017 inquiry F-35 Procurement inquiry North Korea inquiry Indispensable allies: US, NATO and UK Defence relations inquiry Defence Acquisition and Procurement inquiry Ministry of Defence Annual Report and Accounts 2016-17 inquiry Locally Employed Civilians inquiry The effects of BAE restructuring on UK Defence inquiry National Security Capability Review inquiry The Royal Marines and UK amphibious capability inquiry The Government’s Brexit position paper: Foreign policy, defence and development: a future partnership paper inquiry Military exercises and the duty of care: follow up inquiry Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report 2016 inquiry UK National Shipbuilding Strategy inquiry The indispensable ally? US, NATO and UK Defence relations inquiry Locally employed interpreters inquiry Trident missile testing inquiry Investigations into fatalities involving British military personnel inquiry SDSR 2015 and the RAF inquiry Defence industrial policy: procurement and prosperity inquiry Military Exercises and the Duty of Care: Further Follow-Up inquiry Evidence from the new Defence Secretary inquiry UK Defence and the Strait of Hormuz inquiry Ministry of Defence Annual Reports and Accounts 2018-19 inquiry Procurement Update inquiry Domestic Threat of Drones inquiry UK Defence and the Far East inquiry Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report 2018 inquiry Work of the Service Complaints Ombudsman inquiry UK Response to Hybrid Threats inquiry INF Treaty withdrawal inquiry Ministry of Defence Annual Report and Accounts 2017-18 inquiry Departmental Priorities – Post-NATO Summit inquiry Work of Defence Equipment and Support inquiry Work of the Chief of Defence Staff inquiry Mental Health and the Armed Forces, Part Two: The Provision of Care inquiry Future anti-ship missile system inquiry Statute of limitations – veterans protection inquiry UK Military Operations in Mosul and Raqqa inquiry Mechanised Infantry Vehicle Procurement inquiry Modernising Defence Programme inquiry Departmental priorities inquiry Armed forces and veterans mental health inquiry Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report 2017 inquiry Global Islamist Terrorism inquiry MoD Annual Report and Accounts 2012-13 Work of the Chief of the Defence Staff MoD Supplementary Estimates 2012-13 Operations in Afghanistan Strategic Defence and Security Review & the National Security Strategy The Armed Forces Covenant in Action? Part 1: Military Casualties Operations in Libya Developing Threats to Electronic Infrastructure The Armed Forces Covenant in Action? Part 2: Accommodation Defence Implications of Possible Scottish Independence Impact on UK Defence of the proposed merger of BAE systems and EADS MoD Main Estimates 2013-14 Towards the next Defence and Security Review: Part One Armed Forces Covenant in Action? Educating Service Personnel Children Armed Forces Covenant in Action? Part 4: Service Personnel Education Defence Acquisition Defence and cyber-security UK Armed Forces Personnel and Legal Framework for Future Operations Future Army 2020 Future Maritime Surveillance Lariam inquiry Publication of the SDSR UK military operations in Syria and Iraq inquiry Shifting the Goalposts? Defence Expenditure and the 2% pledge Flexible Response? An SDSR checklist of potential threats Towards the next defence and security review: Part Three Ministry of Defence Annual Report and Accounts 2013-14 The situation in Iraq and Syria Decision-making in Defence Policy Future Force 2020 Armed Forces (Services Complaints and Financial Assistance) Bill MoD Main Estimates 2014-15 Inquiry Defence Growth Partnership Ministry of Defence Mid Year Report Towards the next Defence and Security Review: Part Two: NATO Afghanistan - Camp Bastion Attack Defence Materiel Strategy Afghanistan The Armed Forces Covenant in Action Part 5: Military Casualties Pre-appointment hearing: Service Complaints Commissioner Defence contribution to the UK’s pandemic response Progress in delivering the British Army’s armoured vehicle capability Foreign Involvement in the Defence Supply Chain The Integrated Review – Threats, Capabilities and Concepts Defence and Climate Change National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh Armed Forces Readiness Future Aviation Capabilities Defence in the Grey Zone Women in the Armed Forces: Follow-Up NATO, US and UK Defence Relations National security and investment Beyond endurance? Military exercises and the duty of care Defence in the Arctic MoD support for former and serving personnel subject to judicial processes Defence in the Arctic (Sub-Committee) Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report 2018 Defence industrial policy: procurement and prosperity Departmental Priorities – Post-NATO Summit Domestic Threat of Drones Evidence from the new Defence Secretary Global Islamist Terrorism INF Treaty withdrawal UK Military Operations in Mosul and Raqqa Future anti-ship missile system Statute of limitations – veterans protection Mental Health and the Armed Forces, Part Two: The Provision of Care Work of Defence Equipment and Support Ministry of Defence Annual Reports and Accounts 2018-19 European Defence Industrial Development Programme Modernising Defence Programme Military Exercises and the Duty of Care: Further Follow-Up Procurement Update Work of the Service Complaints Ombudsman UK Defence and the Far East UK Defence and the Strait of Hormuz UK Response to Hybrid Threats Work of the Chief of Defence Staff

50 most recent Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department

6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to help increase the uptake of job transition services for veterans.

Resettlement services are offered to all personnel leaving the Regular Armed Forces with employment support and training delivered through the an official provider, the Career Transition Partnership (CTP). CTP supports the transition from military to civilian life through a range of career and employment support services . CTP works with hundreds of employers who recognise the talent pool leaving the Armed Forces and the skills, experience and strong working ethos Service leavers bring with them after a military career.

Although the CTP service is available to all personnel who qualify, some may choose not to use it. From 27 November 2023 all Service leavers have been automatically registered with the CTP and must now actively ‘opt out’.

Over the past 25 years the CTP has provided transition support to over 310,000 Service leavers across all ranks and Services, with an average of 15,000 accessing the programme each year. Defence Statistics have published annual figures detailing employment outcomes for Service leavers who left during 2021/22 on www.GOV.uk - https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/career-transition-partnership-ex-service-personnel-employment-outcomes-financial-year-202122. 87% of Service personnel who left the UK Armed Forces and used a billable CTP service were employed after six months.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many and what proportion of (a) Commonwealth and (b) other foreign nationals serving in the armed forces earn more than £29,000 a year.

It is taking time to collate the required information to answer the right hon. Member's Questions. I will write to him when the information is available, and a copy of this letter will be placed in the Library of The House.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many and what proportion of (a) Commonwealth and (b) other foreign nationals serving in the armed forces earn more than £38,700 a year.

It is taking time to collate the required information to answer the right hon. Member's Questions. I will write to him when the information is available, and a copy of this letter will be placed in the Library of The House.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish the Army Race Action Plan.

I will write to the right hon. Member when the information is available, and a copy of this letter will be placed in the Library of The House.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has taken steps to ensure that medical advisors at Veterans UK are trained to (a) monitor and (b) record cancer incidences among veterans who have worked in close proximity to radio frequency radiation emitters.

The role of Medical Advisers is to provide medical advice regarding the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) and to certify medical decisions in the War Pensions Scheme (WPS).

Their role does not encompass the monitoring of, or recording of cancer incidence of veterans who have worked in close proximity to radio frequency radio emitters. Owing to their role and the information available to them, there would be no circumstances under which it would be possible for them to do so.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of the potential level of risk posed by working in close proximity to radio frequency emitters.

Joint Service Publication (JSP) 392, Management of radiation protection in defence, provides defence staff with guidance on radiological protection of personnel within establishments and units to prevent harm. This includes applying safety standards which set the limits for exposure, and ensuring defence personnel are aware and equipped to manage working with these hazards.

In conjunction with JSP 392, JSP 375, Management of health and safety in Defence, mandates that all military activities must be risk assessed to identify and manage potential risks, including working in close proximity to radio frequency emitters. The accountable person, who may be a commander or manager, is responsible for identifying risks and providing mitigations to prevent harm.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
6th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by The Earl of Minto on 7 December 2023 (HL Deb col 1570), what plans they have to regularise the process of cost forecasting among the three armed services.

The Department's current operating model, where responsibility for managing the equipment plan is delegated to Top Level Budget Holders, acknowledges that they have different financial positions and carry a balance between capability and financial risk.

I remain committed to reviewing the format of future equipment plan reports to ensure they remain fit for purpose.

Earl of Minto
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many missiles HMS Diamond fired whilst participating in Operation Prosperity Guardian.

During her deployment at the Red Sea, HMS Diamond engaged and shot down nine aerial threats in self-defence whilst firing Sea Viper missiles. For operational security reasons, I cannot comment on the specifics of this activity.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of replacing HMS Diamond with HMS Richmond in the Red Sea on the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s capacity.

HMS Richmond has now taken on the role of safeguarding shipping in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden alongside other Royal Navy, UK & NATO Partners, as part of the UK's enduring commitment to ensuring Freedom of Navigation and maintaining security of global shipping lanes.

The Royal Navy and Royal Feet Auxiliary continue to meet all of their operational commitments at home and abroad, and we will continue to ensure we have the workforce, support arrangements and facilities required to maintain availability in the future.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
2nd Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Russian language specialists worked in his Department in each year since 2010.

We have deemed language specialist to be a service person holding an in date formal MOD language assessment of Level 2 and above (even if not actively using the language day to day), and any civil servant (Burnham Lecturer) or military person employed in teaching languages to defence personnel on an ongoing permanent basis or supporting operations.

Detailed historical data on those personnel ‘in date’ before 2018 is unavailable, we only know the number of exams that were passed in the respective years going back to 2012. We have not included those for the purposes of this answer. The information available is in the following table:

Serial

Language

Numbers 'in date'
(Jan 24)

Numbers 'in date'
(Jan 23)

Numbers 'in date'
(Jan 22)

Numbers 'in date'
(Sep 21)

Numbers 'in date'
(Dec 19)

Numbers 'in date'
(Sep 18)

1

Russian

163

155

111

106

80

81

2

Arabic

99

117

121

132

187

196

3

Farsi

38

42

38

40

21

24

4

Mandarin

15

22

18

22

12

12

5

Cantonese

9

With Mandarin as Chinese to mid 23

Counted with Mandarin

Counted with Mandarin

Counted with Mandarin

Counted with Mandarin

6

Dari/Pashtu

5

16

5

8

9

13

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
2nd Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Mandarin Chinese language specialists worked in his Department in each year since 2010.

We have deemed language specialist to be a service person holding an in date formal MOD language assessment of Level 2 and above (even if not actively using the language day to day), and any civil servant (Burnham Lecturer) or military person employed in teaching languages to defence personnel on an ongoing permanent basis or supporting operations.

Detailed historical data on those personnel ‘in date’ before 2018 is unavailable, we only know the number of exams that were passed in the respective years going back to 2012. We have not included those for the purposes of this answer. The information available is in the following table:

Serial

Language

Numbers 'in date'
(Jan 24)

Numbers 'in date'
(Jan 23)

Numbers 'in date'
(Jan 22)

Numbers 'in date'
(Sep 21)

Numbers 'in date'
(Dec 19)

Numbers 'in date'
(Sep 18)

1

Russian

163

155

111

106

80

81

2

Arabic

99

117

121

132

187

196

3

Farsi

38

42

38

40

21

24

4

Mandarin

15

22

18

22

12

12

5

Cantonese

9

With Mandarin as Chinese to mid 23

Counted with Mandarin

Counted with Mandarin

Counted with Mandarin

Counted with Mandarin

6

Dari/Pashtu

5

16

5

8

9

13

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
2nd Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Cantonese Chinese language specialists worked in his Department in each year since 2010.

We have deemed language specialist to be a service person holding an in date formal MOD language assessment of Level 2 and above (even if not actively using the language day to day), and any civil servant (Burnham Lecturer) or military person employed in teaching languages to defence personnel on an ongoing permanent basis or supporting operations.

Detailed historical data on those personnel ‘in date’ before 2018 is unavailable, we only know the number of exams that were passed in the respective years going back to 2012. We have not included those for the purposes of this answer. The information available is in the following table:

Serial

Language

Numbers 'in date'
(Jan 24)

Numbers 'in date'
(Jan 23)

Numbers 'in date'
(Jan 22)

Numbers 'in date'
(Sep 21)

Numbers 'in date'
(Dec 19)

Numbers 'in date'
(Sep 18)

1

Russian

163

155

111

106

80

81

2

Arabic

99

117

121

132

187

196

3

Farsi

38

42

38

40

21

24

4

Mandarin

15

22

18

22

12

12

5

Cantonese

9

With Mandarin as Chinese to mid 23

Counted with Mandarin

Counted with Mandarin

Counted with Mandarin

Counted with Mandarin

6

Dari/Pashtu

5

16

5

8

9

13

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
2nd Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Farsi language specialists worked in his Department in each year since 2010.

We have deemed language specialist to be a service person holding an in date formal MOD language assessment of Level 2 and above (even if not actively using the language day to day), and any civil servant (Burnham Lecturer) or military person employed in teaching languages to defence personnel on an ongoing permanent basis or supporting operations.

Detailed historical data on those personnel ‘in date’ before 2018 is unavailable, we only know the number of exams that were passed in the respective years going back to 2012. We have not included those for the purposes of this answer. The information available is in the following table:

Serial

Language

Numbers 'in date'
(Jan 24)

Numbers 'in date'
(Jan 23)

Numbers 'in date'
(Jan 22)

Numbers 'in date'
(Sep 21)

Numbers 'in date'
(Dec 19)

Numbers 'in date'
(Sep 18)

1

Russian

163

155

111

106

80

81

2

Arabic

99

117

121

132

187

196

3

Farsi

38

42

38

40

21

24

4

Mandarin

15

22

18

22

12

12

5

Cantonese

9

With Mandarin as Chinese to mid 23

Counted with Mandarin

Counted with Mandarin

Counted with Mandarin

Counted with Mandarin

6

Dari/Pashtu

5

16

5

8

9

13

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
2nd Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Arabic language specialists worked in his Department in each year since 2010.

We have deemed language specialist to be a service person holding an in date formal MOD language assessment of Level 2 and above (even if not actively using the language day to day), and any civil servant (Burnham Lecturer) or military person employed in teaching languages to defence personnel on an ongoing permanent basis or supporting operations.

Detailed historical data on those personnel ‘in date’ before 2018 is unavailable, we only know the number of exams that were passed in the respective years going back to 2012. We have not included those for the purposes of this answer. The information available is in the following table:

Serial

Language

Numbers 'in date'
(Jan 24)

Numbers 'in date'
(Jan 23)

Numbers 'in date'
(Jan 22)

Numbers 'in date'
(Sep 21)

Numbers 'in date'
(Dec 19)

Numbers 'in date'
(Sep 18)

1

Russian

163

155

111

106

80

81

2

Arabic

99

117

121

132

187

196

3

Farsi

38

42

38

40

21

24

4

Mandarin

15

22

18

22

12

12

5

Cantonese

9

With Mandarin as Chinese to mid 23

Counted with Mandarin

Counted with Mandarin

Counted with Mandarin

Counted with Mandarin

6

Dari/Pashtu

5

16

5

8

9

13

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
2nd Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Pashto and Dari language specialists worked in his Department in each year since 2010.

We have deemed language specialist to be a service person holding an in date formal MOD language assessment of Level 2 and above (even if not actively using the language day to day), and any civil servant (Burnham Lecturer) or military person employed in teaching languages to defence personnel on an ongoing permanent basis or supporting operations.

Detailed historical data on those personnel ‘in date’ before 2018 is unavailable, we only know the number of exams that were passed in the respective years going back to 2012. We have not included those for the purposes of this answer. The information available is in the following table:

Serial

Language

Numbers 'in date'
(Jan 24)

Numbers 'in date'
(Jan 23)

Numbers 'in date'
(Jan 22)

Numbers 'in date'
(Sep 21)

Numbers 'in date'
(Dec 19)

Numbers 'in date'
(Sep 18)

1

Russian

163

155

111

106

80

81

2

Arabic

99

117

121

132

187

196

3

Farsi

38

42

38

40

21

24

4

Mandarin

15

22

18

22

12

12

5

Cantonese

9

With Mandarin as Chinese to mid 23

Counted with Mandarin

Counted with Mandarin

Counted with Mandarin

Counted with Mandarin

6

Dari/Pashtu

5

16

5

8

9

13

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
1st Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Royal Navy ships have been deployed to the Gulf region in each year since 2010.

The Royal Navy has a long-standing maritime presence in the Gulf region, focussed on promoting peace and stability, as well as ensuring the safe flow of global trade. The Gulf region includes the Red Sea, The Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Gulf.

The table below provides a breakdown of each time an RN ship entered the Gulf region. This demonstrates a changed Royal Navy operating model. Episodic deployments have been incrementally replaced by permanently deployed vessels and long deployments. For example, a Type 23 frigate has been permanently deployed to the region since 2019. The vessel has two crews, providing a more efficient and higher level of operational availability.

Fluctuations in the data reflect periodic surges when multiple RN units deployed to the region. For example, the Carrier Strike Group deployment to the Indo-Pacific in 2021 increased the numbers of vessels in the region.

Year

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

2023

Number of Ships

20

22

22

22

20

17

13

13

13

12

12

16

8

6

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many personnel of the (a) Army, (b) Royal Navy, (c) RAF and (d) Royal Marines were referred to Prevent in each year since 2015.

Information held by the Ministry of Defence is set out below, detailing the number of referrals to Prevent from a military referrer by calendar year, noting that figures prior to 2018 are not held. A breakdown of the information by Service is not currently available. These figures exclude members of the military who are referred to Prevent by an organisation other than the military, for example the Home Office Police or NHS.

2018 – 5

2019 – 12

2020 – 8

2021 – 13

2022 – 13

2023 – 22

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many times he has visited NATO bases abroad in each year since 2015.

Every time the Secretary of State landed on an airbase of a NATO ally or attended a meeting in a NATO HQ would need to be counted, and this data is simply not held. Whilst the information could only be gathered at disproportionate cost, the Honourable Gentleman should be reassured that the answer would likely be very regularly indeed.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 24 January 2024 to Question 10673 on Gaza: Israel, whether his Department has a comparable tracker logging alleged Israeli military International Humanitarian Law violations.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) does not maintain such a tracker. However, the MOD works closely with the FCDO, who continue to assess Israel's commitment and capability to comply with International Humanitarian Law.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans to facilitate parliamentary scrutiny of the Government's implementation of the LGBT Veterans Independent Review.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 18 December 2023 to Question 5980 to the hon. Member for Brentford and Isleworth (Ruth Cadbury).

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department plans to publish deadlines for the implementation of recommendations from the LGBT Veterans Independent Review.

The Government has accepted the recommendations of the LGBT Veterans Independent Review, and our committed deadlines can be found in the Government's formal response to the Review: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/lgbt-veterans-independent-review-government-response. The Government continues to work at pace to deliver the intent behind the report’s recommendations, and as of 8 February 2024, 26 of the 49 recommendations have already been completed. There is and has been extensive engagement with LGBT veteran charities and activists at both official and Ministerial level, and Defence will continue to engage with LGBT veterans as we deliver the recommendations.

Defence encourages those affected to apply for and register their interest in restorative measures by completing an application of interest form on the following page: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/lgbt-veterans-support-and-next-steps.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department plans to consult LGBT veteran charities and activists on the implementation of the recommendations in the LGBT Veterans Independent Review.

The Government has accepted the recommendations of the LGBT Veterans Independent Review, and our committed deadlines can be found in the Government's formal response to the Review: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/lgbt-veterans-independent-review-government-response. The Government continues to work at pace to deliver the intent behind the report’s recommendations, and as of 8 February 2024, 26 of the 49 recommendations have already been completed. There is and has been extensive engagement with LGBT veteran charities and activists at both official and Ministerial level, and Defence will continue to engage with LGBT veterans as we deliver the recommendations.

Defence encourages those affected to apply for and register their interest in restorative measures by completing an application of interest form on the following page: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/lgbt-veterans-support-and-next-steps.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many veterans ID cards have been distributed in each region.

The Armed Forces Veteran Card Scheme has had a two-phase rollout. Phase One is complete; all Service leavers since December 2018 automatically receive an HM Forces Veteran Card from Ministry of Defence as part of their discharge process. The attached table shows the total number of Phase One cards distributed in each region.

A regional breakdown is not currently available for phase two which extends access to the HM Armed Forces Veteran Card to those who left before December 2018. The new digital application and verification service launched at 00:01 on 28 January 2024 allowing pre-2018 Veterans to apply for the card.  As of Thursday 8 February 2024 a total of 28,882 cards had been dispatched in the Phase 2 roll out. An update to the case management system will provide a regional breakdown on a monthly basis from March 2024.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the support provided by the Veterans Welfare Service.

The Veterans Welfare Service was subject to the Independent Review of UK Government Welfare Services for Veterans (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-independent-review-of-uk-government-welfare-services-for-veterans) which was published in July 2023.

The Government response was published via Written Ministerial Statement on 11 December 2023. The Government accepted the principle and intended outcome of all the reviews recommendations and is working through the recommendations, and will provide further detail of how we will meet these via a package of communications in 2024.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the training of Veterans Welfare Service staff.

The Veterans Welfare Service staff undergo standard departmental mandatory training and induction, as well as receiving training on specific subject matter relevant to its work from internal and external providers, as required. Training is included within the recommendations of the 2023 Independent Review of UK Government Welfare Services for Veterans (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-independent-review-of-uk-government-welfare-services-for-veterans­) and changes are being implemented in line with this.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of employment rights of seafarers in the (a) Royal Navy and (b) Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) strives to protect and support all of its seafarers. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) team of 1,700 are employed and administered in accordance with MOD Civil Service parameters, regularly expertly reviewed and subject to independent scrutiny. In addition, the RFA are proactively modernising their suite of policies to exceed the standards of the new Seafarer's Charter.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent steps Veterans UK has taken to support veterans and their families.

The Ministry of Defence delivers a range of services to Veterans and their families. This includes the administration and payment of Armed Forces pensions and compensation, the provision of tailored advice and assistance through the Veterans Welfare Service, Defence Transition Services and the Integrated Personal Commissioning for Veterans.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to support the international response in Ukraine.

The UK continues to galvanise international support for Ukraine.

We were the first to send lethal aid before the invasion to Ukraine. £896 million has now been pledged to UK-established International Fund for Ukraine.

We continue to deliver a training operation for Ukrainian forces alongside 11 international partners, with more than 60,000 Ukrainians trained since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in 2014.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether RFA Fort Victoria is (a) awaiting a refit, (b) working up after a refit and (c) operationally available.

RFA Fort Victoria is currently ready to commence a planned maintenance period.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he has plans to introduce (a) the Kongsberg missile system or (b) a similar variant to the Royal Navy surface fleet.

The Royal Navy currently has one ship, HMS Somerset, fitted with the Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile system. The Royal Navy intend to install this Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare capability to further platforms.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he has plans to introduce the Tomahawk missile into the Royal Navy surface fleet.

The Future Cruise and Anti-Ship Weapon programme will decide on the future offensive surface weapon used on Royal Navy surface fleet platforms. This Programme is still in the assessment phase and no decision has yet been taken.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much funding has been (a) allocated and (b) spent on the Global Combat Air Programme Tempest programme as of 6 February 2024.

The March 2021 Defence Command Paper reaffirmed that that we will invest more than £2 billion in the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) out to 2025, and we have spent over £1.8 billion so far. This is part of a budget of over £12 billion over the next 10 years. The amount that we ultimately invest will be determined at future decision points.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Defence has invested over £1.1 billion in R&D through the Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative (FCAS TI), with a further £600 million from our Team Tempest industry partners to date.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has conducted (a) trials and (b) research into the feasibility of mounting (i) the Multiple Launch Rocket System and (ii) other similar systems on Royal Navy destroyers.

The Royal Navy continually assesses and reviews the available technology and the possibility of integrating different weapons systems into our ships.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether HMS Queen Elizabeth will need to be dry-docked following the discovery of issues with the propeller shaft.

Following an issue with HMS Queen Elizabeth's (QNLZ) starboard propeller shaft coupling, QNLZ will sail for Rosyth in Scotland for dry-docking in order that any necessary repairs can be carried out.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much his Department has spent on legal fees relating to the Morpheus programme as of 8 February 2024.

It is taking time to collate the required information to answer the right hon. Member's Question. I will write to him when the information is available, and a copy of this letter will be placed in the Library of The House.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to British Army press release entitled Army’s top Brass Turns Out in Force to Address the World’s Leading Armoured Vehicle Conference, published on 22 January 2024, which 13 vehicle variants are being removed to streamline the Army’s fleet and improve readiness.

The vehicle variants currently identified to be removed from service by 2030 are:

  • AS90
  • Stormer
  • Warrior
  • 105mm light gun
  • BV206
  • Mastiff
  • Ridgback
  • Wolfhound
  • Beach Recovery Vehicle
  • Heavy Equipment Transporter
  • Foxhound Protected Patrol Vehicle
  • Jackal
  • Coyote
  • Pinzgauer
  • Landrover (including WMIK/RWMIK variants)
  • Quad bike
  • Wheeled Tanker
  • Challenger 2
  • Puma

Similarly, on current plans it should be recognised that a number of new platforms and families of vehicles are being introduced such as the New Medium Helicopter, the Boxer family, the Ajax family and the Light Protected Mobility Platform family.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
1st Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to Q113 of the oral evidence by Andy Start to the Committee of Public Accounts on 22 January 2024, HC 451, how much and what proportion of the £560 million has been spent on enhancing the supply chain of chemicals.

£125.5 million of the £560 million has been allocated for enhancing the supply chain for energetic materials and energetic components. Of this, £21.2 million has been committed to contract (as at 5 February 2024).

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to recognise the contribution of armed forces personnel.

The largest pay increase in more than 20 years is indicative of the Government’s commitment to our Armed Forces. In addition we will continue to support public facing events such as Armed Forces Day, and respond to concerns from the Defence community on issues like medallic recognition.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 5 February to Question 12474 on RAF Chicksands: Housing, what plans his Department has to improve the (a) grade three (b) grade four accommodation over the next 12 months.

The programme of works commencing in April 2024 is being finalised, but currently includes the refurbishment of kitchen and ablution areas in three single living accommodation (SLA) blocks, which will improve the lived experience.

The works are unlikely to raise the blocks above grade three or four as this will require new-build blocks or a full refurbishment programme, which is unlikely to complete before the base is scheduled to close in 2030.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the (a) target and (b) actual number of people recruited for the Submarine Service was in each year since 2010.

The Royal Navy does not routinely disclose the trained strength of individual branches or specialisms as to do so could, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability of the Armed Forces.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many civilian seafarer ratings have been trained by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in each year since 2016.

Between 2016 and 2023, 706 seafarers were trained by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), and there are no RFA seafarers currently serving on Operation Prosperity Guardian.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Royal Fleet Auxiliary seafarers have been deployed in Operation Prosperity Guardian.

Between 2016 and 2023, 706 seafarers were trained by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), and there are no RFA seafarers currently serving on Operation Prosperity Guardian.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the acquisition cost was of each of (a) the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers and (b) their respective air groups.

The acquisition cost of the two Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers was c. £6 billion.

The build cost of a Type 45 destroyer was calculated in 2013 to be £633 million (Official Report 2 December 2016 Question 55378).

Build costs of the Type 23 frigates varied between £92 and £120 million per ship over the period November 1992 to September 2002. (Official Report 2 July 2013, col. 610w).

For the acquisition costs of Astute Class submarines, I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 12 September 2023 to Question 197698.

The support ships assigned to a Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier battle group and the composition of the embarked air group are dependent upon the nature of the tasking of the battle group and it is not therefore possible to provide a singular acquisition cost for such supporting shipping or for the air group.

F-35B aircraft are procured in batches and the unit price per batch has varied as production has proceeded. There is therefore no single acquisition cost for a group of 24 aircraft as the overall cost will depend on the batch from which each individual aircraft was procured.

There is no fixed ratio of F-35B aircraft to Merlin helicopters in a Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier embarked air group. Moreover, two different marks of Merlin helicopter may be embarked dependent on operational requirements. It is not therefore possible to provide a single acquisition cost for the Merlin helicopters that may be embarked with 24 F-35B aircraft.

As illustrated by the information provided in respect of Type 23 frigates it is not, for any class of ship or submarine, usually the case that the overall acquisition cost is shared equally across the class. First of Class vessels will incur a range of non-recurring costs that later vessels do not. Variations in price per vessel may also arise from increasing industry efficiency as construction progresses and from detailed changes in specification between vessels of the same class.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the acquisition cost is of (a) a Queen Elizabeth Class carrier, (b) an air group of 24 F-35Bs with merlin helicopters, (c) two type 45 destroyers, (d) two type 23 frigates, (e) one Astute class submarine and (f) other support ships for a Queen Elizabeth Class carrier Battle Group.

The acquisition cost of the two Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers was c. £6 billion.

The build cost of a Type 45 destroyer was calculated in 2013 to be £633 million (Official Report 2 December 2016 Question 55378).

Build costs of the Type 23 frigates varied between £92 and £120 million per ship over the period November 1992 to September 2002. (Official Report 2 July 2013, col. 610w).

For the acquisition costs of Astute Class submarines, I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 12 September 2023 to Question 197698.

The support ships assigned to a Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier battle group and the composition of the embarked air group are dependent upon the nature of the tasking of the battle group and it is not therefore possible to provide a singular acquisition cost for such supporting shipping or for the air group.

F-35B aircraft are procured in batches and the unit price per batch has varied as production has proceeded. There is therefore no single acquisition cost for a group of 24 aircraft as the overall cost will depend on the batch from which each individual aircraft was procured.

There is no fixed ratio of F-35B aircraft to Merlin helicopters in a Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier embarked air group. Moreover, two different marks of Merlin helicopter may be embarked dependent on operational requirements. It is not therefore possible to provide a single acquisition cost for the Merlin helicopters that may be embarked with 24 F-35B aircraft.

As illustrated by the information provided in respect of Type 23 frigates it is not, for any class of ship or submarine, usually the case that the overall acquisition cost is shared equally across the class. First of Class vessels will incur a range of non-recurring costs that later vessels do not. Variations in price per vessel may also arise from increasing industry efficiency as construction progresses and from detailed changes in specification between vessels of the same class.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the estimated out of service date is for RFA Fort Victoria.

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer that was given on 5 July 2023 to Question 191509 to the hon. Member for Wentworth and Dearne (Mr John Healey).

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the crew complement is of the RFA Fort Victoria.

RFA FORT VICTORIA normally operates with 101 RFA personnel. However, this will vary according to operational requirements and tasking.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress has been made on the Multi Role Support Ship programme.

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave to questions 11950 and 11951 on 7 February 2024.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure the safety of people in Pakistan previously rejected by the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy who are having applications reconsidered.

The UK Government has had constructive and ongoing conversations with the Government of Pakistan to take steps to prevent the deportation Afghans eligible for UK resettlement schemes from Pakistan.

I have instructed MOD officials to raise awareness of this issue with the Pakistani authorities so that protection from deportation can be extended to those individuals within scope of the forthcoming reassessment of decisions taken on ineligible applications from former members of Afghan specialist units.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure the safety of people in Pakistan who (a) have previously had an application to the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy scheme rejected and (b) are waiting for their application to be reconsidered.

The UK Government has had constructive and ongoing conversations with the Government of Pakistan to take steps to prevent the deportation Afghans eligible for UK resettlement schemes from Pakistan.

I have instructed MOD officials to raise awareness of this issue with the Pakistani authorities so that protection from deportation can be extended to those individuals within scope of the forthcoming reassessment of decisions taken on ineligible applications from former members of Afghan specialist units.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)