asked the Secretary of State for Defence what criteria are used in granting or refusing permission for members of the Armed Forces to stand as local government candidates.
Subject to Service needs, serving members of the Armed Forces may be allowed to stand as local government candidates if their candidacy is independent of any political party.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many Service personnel are currently serving as elected members of local authorities.
I regret that no comprehensive record is kept of this information.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements are made in respect of attendance allowances due to members of the Armed Forces serving on local authorities; and whether any reciprocal deductions affect their eventual pension rights.
Attendance allowances payable to local authority councillors are the responsibility of individual local authorities. Payments made to any councillors who are also members of the Armed Forces do not have any effect on their pension rights.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government concerning political activity by serving members of the Armed Forces;
(2) what advice is given with regard to the undesirability of serving officers being associated with particular political parties.
No advice as such is given. Queen's Regulations permit Service personnel, as individuals, to join political parties.There are long-standing regulations which are designed to ensure that the traditional political neutrality of the Armed Forces is maintained. Among other things, Queen's Regulations stipulate that Regular personnel must not take any active part in the affairs of any political organisation or party; that they must not engage in any public discussion of politically controversial issues; and that all forms of political activity, including political meetings and speeches, are prohibited in Service establishments.