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Bullying And Cruelty

Volume 124: debated on Tuesday 8 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many commanding officers have been disciplined following bullying incidents and initiation rituals in their units.

No commanding officer has been disciplined as a result of bullying incidents and initiation rituals in his unit. The hon. Member will recall, however, that the commanding officer of 1st Battalion Kings Own Scottish Borderers was removed from his command following revelations about initiation ceremonies conducted by soldiers within his battalion. Investigations related to these matters are continuing and their findings will determine any further action to be taken.


To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he has yet reached a decision on whether to set up a parliamentary commissioner to investigate complaints of bullying in the Army.

I wrote to the right hon. Member on 2 December. A copy has been placed in the Library of the House.


To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received on the steps he is taking to prevent cruelty in the armed forces.

The hon. Member will be aware that the right hon. Member for Stoke on Trent, South (Mr. Ashley) has made a number of representations on the steps taken to prevent ill treatment or bullying in the armed forces. Other than that, there have been a number of articles in the press, several supporting the firm and open action taken against those found to be guilty of this type of unacceptable behaviour.