Monday, 04 July 2022

Don’t shut ‘vital’ RAF base, says MP

Don’t shut ‘vital’ RAF base, says MP

RAF Benson was praised during a debate in the House of Commons.

Henley MP John Howell called for the base not to be closed during a debate on expenditure by the Ministry of Defence.

He said: “Something like £2 billion of strategic investment is to be made in the Royal Air Force. I think that should be increased.

“If Russia has taught us anything, it is that investment in tanks is not a very good one. If we look at Ukraine, a huge amount of anti-tank missiles are there already and something as fleet of foot as the Royal Air Force is to be commended.

“I do not want to set a hare running but I hope that the minister can confirm that bases such as RAF Benson are not earmarked for closure.

“They play a vital role and Benson does in particular in looking after the helicopters that we use all the time in our air force. They also have another use — they provide training.”

Andrew Bowie, MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, said: “I had the privilege of visiting RAF Benson just a couple of weeks ago and I reiterate my Honorable Friend’s comments on that base’s contribution to training the next generation of helicopter pilots and supporting the wide RAF and, indeed, the local community.”

Meanwhile, Mr Howell, who chairs of the UK delegation to the Council of Europe, said he was pleased the organisation unanimously voted to expel Russia on Tuesday.

He said: “100 per cent of the views were condemning of Russia and the action taken in Ukraine. There was an attempt from Russia to say it was withdrawing, to jump before it was pushed, but this was brushed aside as we had already made up our minds.”

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