Jim McGovern welcomes confirmation of government Black Watch u-turn

5 July 2012

Dundee West MP Jim McGovern today welcomed the announcement that the government’s planned axe of The Black Watch has been officially scrapped.

Under plans announced earlier in the year the government had planned to axe the historic battalions of Scotland, amalgamating them into new units.

After strenuous campaigning by the Labour Party in Westminster the government announced that it would find a way to protect the historic battalions.

Mr McGovern has spoken in the House of Commons chamber and Westminster Hall on this issue, as well as placing an Early Day Motion before the house to call for the battalion’s protection, which was signed by 16 MPs.

Mr. McGovern has also led local campaigning in Dundee, attracting over 2500 signatures to a public petition in the city.

Jim McGovern said;

“I am of course delighted that the government have confirmed this u-turn and that they will protect the future of The Black Watch.

“ It would have been a shameful thing to have lost such an important historic battalion, as the public outcry against the government’s initial plan demonstrated.”

“Now we need to see how the government’s wider plans to cut the number of personnel and spending will impact on the ability of our armed forces to do their vitally important work.”

“I’d like to thank the many people of Dundee and Tayside who signed the public petition.

“The response was overwhelming and crucial in ensuring the government changed their mind.”

Mr McGovern concluded;

“I very much welcome the decision to maintain The Black Watch.

“The historic and emotional connection to the battalion runs deep in Dundee and Tayside, so this decision is the right one.

“ It is just a pity that it took a public backlash to make the government see that.”

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