Unity and caution call repeated by Tory MSP in Army battle

Douglas Ross has called on calm heads over Kinloss.
Douglas Ross has called on calm heads over Kinloss.

CONSERVATIVE HIGHLANDS AND Moray MSP Douglas Ross is remaining cautious over the future of Kinloss Barracks.

Speaking of the announcement this week of 13 UK bases that will be the subject of land disposals by the Ministry of Defence, Mr Ross said that he had discussed the situation with the Secretary of State for Scotland.

The MSP – who as a Moray councillor played a pivotal role in the campaign to retain an RAF presence at Lossiemouth in 2011 – said that above all else political leaders of all parties in the region should continue to work together and put a ‘positive case’ for the Army remaining.

“I welcome the fact that no Scottish bases were included in the statement about selling off MOD land for housing,” the MSP said, adding: “This was one of the main fears which had been raised after an impeccable source claimed Kinloss was going to be sold by the MOD.

“The last few weeks have seen service personnel and their families subjected to immeasurable stress and worry over their future following on from the very public announcement made by Angus Robertson MP that Kinloss was to be closed.

“I agree with the Moray Economic Partnership that no matter how welcome Tuesday’s announcement is, there is still work to be done. In the last 24 hours I have been speaking with various departments and will work with the UK Government and the Secretary of State for Scotland to put over the positive case for Kinloss to remain.

“As we strive to work hard in these challenging times to deliver the best outcomes for the area we should all be working together regardless of political affiliation, working with the facts that are on the table and not with speculation and conjecture as demonstrated by Moray’s MP.

“The Armed Forces are an integral part of this area as they have been for many decades and it is only a few months since the UK government announced along with Boeing a major investment at RAF Lossiemouth to support the P8 Poseidon aircraft which are on order.

“We need to support our valued servicemen and women and their families, we are proud of the work they do for us at home and overseas and we are proud to have them as neighbours and friends.”

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