HC Deb 18 April 2000 vol 348 cc430-1W
Mr. McNamara

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what guidelines govern the involvement of part-time and serving members of the armed forces in political activities; if members of the(a) Ulster Defence Regiment and (b) Royal Irish Regiment are subject to separate guidelines for Northern Ireland; and how many soldiers have been dismissed for political activities in each year since the UDR was created. [118980]

Mr. Spellar

Guidelines on political activity for members of the armed forces, including full-time and part-time members of the Royal Irish Regiment, are contained in Queens Regulations for each service.

The Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) used to have a separate set of Regulations with guidelines on political activities, and these clearly stated that Queens Regulations also applied to UDR personnel.

We have no records of the number of soldiers dismissed for engaging in political activities.