Jim McGovern calls for Commons statement on the Black Watch

18 May 2012   

Dundee West MP Jim McGovern has today written to Philip Hammond, the Secretary of State for Defence, to come to the House of Commons to explain the government’s position on the future of the Black Watch.

This comes as Jim McGovern joined the cross-party campaign group ‘Respect our Regiments’ in Parliament, established by Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy. The campaign is seeking to protect the future of Scotland’s historic battalions.

It was reported in the national press this morning that the Secretary of State for Defence had announced that the plans to discard the historic battalions were to be scrapped. However, no formal statement has yet been made by the Ministry of Defence.

Mr McGovern tabled an Early Day motion on Monday 14th May, which has been by signed 14 MPs so far.

Jim McGovern said,

“This confusion over the future of the Black Watch is unacceptable. 

“ The Secretary of State was given the opportunity to deny his plans to axe the historic battalions earlier in the week and he did not do so.

“Today’s apparent u-turn, which comes hours after the Labour led campaign was established, will be welcomed if confirmed.

“The government must now come to the House of Commons and clarify exactly what their policy is.”

Mr McGovern concluded,

“This process has been botched from start to finish by the government.

“They have demonstrated a lack of regard and respect for the Black Watch and the communities of Tayside and Fife.

“A formal statement clearly setting out their position must be forthcoming sooner rather than later.”


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