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Written Question
World War I: Anniversaries
Monday 11th September 2023

Asked by: Elliot Colburn (Conservative - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question to the Ministry of Defence:

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department plans to take to commemorate Armistice Day.

Answered by Andrew Murrison - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)

Commemorations will take place across the UK to mark Armistice Day. This will include a ceremony at the Cenotaph, as well as memorials across the UK and around the world.

The Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance will take at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday 11 November and will be supported by over 500 members of the Armed Forces.


Written Question
Ministry of Defence: Weddings
Monday 3rd July 2023

Asked by: Elliot Colburn (Conservative - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question to the Ministry of Defence:

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress has been made in allowing (a) civil marriage, (b) civil partnership and (c) same-sex marriage ceremonies at Ministry of Defence sites.

Answered by Andrew Murrison - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)

Defence is proud of all our LGBT+ personnel and the significant contributions they make to ensure our security, support our national interests, and safeguard our prosperity. We are committed to creating an inclusive, respectful and welcoming organisation for all personnel from all faiths and beliefs.

In England and Wales, neither Civil Marriage nor Civil Partnerships (for opposite sex or same sex couples) currently occur on the Defence Estates due to security considerations associated with the requirements for ongoing public access to buildings registered for this purpose. Defence will continually work together with other Government Departments to look at how restrictions can be removed to make the policy more inclusive.

As marriage is a devolved issue in Scotland and Northern Ireland, the rules differ. Civil Marriage or Civil Partnerships on Defence Estates are at the discretion of the Heads of Establishment. Civil Partnerships and Civil Marriages do occur on Defence estates outside the UK, such as in Germany and Cyprus and will comply with host countries’ laws or the Sovereign Base Regulations.

In line with the Marriage of Same Sex Couples (Use of Armed Forces’ Chapels) Regulations 2014, same-sex couples have been able to marry in Armed Forces Chapels since 2014. To date, three same-sex couple marriages have taken place in Armed Forces Chapels since June 2014, two in England and one in Cyprus.


Written Question
Ministry of Defence: Weddings
Monday 3rd July 2023

Asked by: Elliot Colburn (Conservative - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question to the Ministry of Defence:

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many same-sex marriages have taken place in military chapels since the Marriage of Same Sex Couples (Use of Armed Forces’ Chapels) Regulations came into force on 3 June 2014.

Answered by Andrew Murrison - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)

Defence is proud of all our LGBT+ personnel and the significant contributions they make to ensure our security, support our national interests, and safeguard our prosperity. We are committed to creating an inclusive, respectful and welcoming organisation for all personnel from all faiths and beliefs.

In England and Wales, neither Civil Marriage nor Civil Partnerships (for opposite sex or same sex couples) currently occur on the Defence Estates due to security considerations associated with the requirements for ongoing public access to buildings registered for this purpose. Defence will continually work together with other Government Departments to look at how restrictions can be removed to make the policy more inclusive.

As marriage is a devolved issue in Scotland and Northern Ireland, the rules differ. Civil Marriage or Civil Partnerships on Defence Estates are at the discretion of the Heads of Establishment. Civil Partnerships and Civil Marriages do occur on Defence estates outside the UK, such as in Germany and Cyprus and will comply with host countries’ laws or the Sovereign Base Regulations.

In line with the Marriage of Same Sex Couples (Use of Armed Forces’ Chapels) Regulations 2014, same-sex couples have been able to marry in Armed Forces Chapels since 2014. To date, three same-sex couple marriages have taken place in Armed Forces Chapels since June 2014, two in England and one in Cyprus.


Written Question
Russia: Ukraine
Monday 13th March 2023

Asked by: Elliot Colburn (Conservative - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question to the Ministry of Defence:

What steps his Department is taking to support the international response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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

The UK, our allies and partners are responding decisively to provide military and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. The UK continues to be recognised as a leading nation providing support to Ukraine; training over ten thousand recruits, providing £2.4 billion of support including hundreds of thousands of rounds of artillery ammunition and leading the world on the gifting of vital capabilities such as MLRS and Challenger II main battle tanks.