DEFENCE AND THE ARMED FORCES – 2 November 2000

Dr Julian Lewis: The Minister [John Spellar] may not be aware that my hon. Friend the Member for Blaby (Andrew Robathan) is not here today because he had a long-standing constituency engagement, which was arranged long before this debate was scheduled; that is why he spoke yesterday.

My recollection is that my hon. Friend's remarks were to the effect that there were certain key military tasks that women, because of their lighter physique and lesser physical strength, could not undertake successfully. That was recognised by the Equal Opportunities Commission when it gave evidence to the Defence Committee a few days ago.