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Essex Lib Dem MP elected to Defence Select Committee

October 25, 2011 7:04 PM

Colchester MP Bob Russell was last night elected by fellow MPs to serve on the highly influential Defence Select Committee. His nomination in the House of Commons was approved unanimously.

Throughout his Parliamentary career Mr Russell has been a strong advocate for HM Armed Forces with particular emphasis on the Army and 16 Air Assault Brigade who are based at the Colchester Garrison. He served on the Armed Forces Bill Committee in both 2005 and this year.

He has visited British Forces serving in Iraq and on three occasions to Afghanistan, the most recent in March this year when soldiers from 16 Air Assault Brigade were in Helmand Province.

Mr Russell has twice participated in the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme during which time he spent up to 30 days on each occasion with the Army. In addition to a series of high-level briefings with senior Ministry of Defence officials and leading members of HM Armed Forces, he also took part in an exercise with the Armoured Division in Poland and on a NATO exercise in Germany, camped with the Gurkhas in a remote area of Kenya, visited peace-keeping forces in Bosnia, yomped over the Brecon Beacons in Wales and took part in a night-time exercise on Salisbury Plain.

For around ten years he was a Parliamentary Advisor to The Royal British Legion.

Commenting on his appointment to the Defence Select Committee, Mr Russell said: "It is a great honour to represent the Garrison Town of Colchester. I am delighted that my Parliamentary colleagues have voted me on to this Committee where I hope that I can play my part in helping to shape this country's future defence capabilities in the years ahead. These are difficult times for the Armed Forces, but I hope I will be able to help in the changing circumstances which confront us both at home and overseas."

Cllr David Kendall, Brentwood Lib Dem Leader, said:

"This is a much deserved appointment for Bob Russell and I wish him well in this important role."