Clause 8 — Desertion

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 4:15 pm on 22nd May 2006.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Paul Keetch Paul Keetch Liberal Democrat, Hereford 4:15 pm, 22nd May 2006

The hon. Gentleman and I opposed the war. I spoke in almost all the debates about it and was contacted by many members of Her Majesty's armed forces who had serious concerns about the action that the Government proposed to take. I respected those views, which they did not reach in the height of battle. They volunteered for service under the Crown and, whatever we think about the war, it took place, and the majority of those who had serious concerns made them known before they were deployed in theatre. They did not desert their posts at the height of battle. My advice to people who approached me was that members of the armed forces who opposed the war should make their opposition known before they were deployed and went to the front, that they should certainly not desert their mates while they were there and that, if they did, I believed that serious consequences should follow.