MP asks for rethink on Nimrod

Chorley Lindsay Hoyle has called for the government to have a last minute rethink over the decision to scrap and break up the newly built Nimrod MRA4.

Leading military figures have also warned that scrapping the 4bn fleet of new RAF Nimrods will create a massive gap in British security.

The Nimrod MRA4 project which would have continued to provide long-range maritime and overland reconnaissance - including over the UK - anti-submarine surveillance, air-sea rescue coordination, and perhaps most importantly, reconnaissance support to the Navy's Trident submarines.

The planes were seen on Wednesday on at BAE Woodford in Stockport, with their cockpit windows boarded up, close to an area which has been sectioned off, where it is believed they will be dismantled.

Mr Hoyle said: "Defence ministers have commented on how sad it is that the leading edge military hardware, which has been built and paid for is being scrapped. We need this capability and we have paid for it.

"Yes, the planes will have an operating cost – but so too will the new aircraft which we will inevitably buy from the United States.

"I am calling on the ministers to take one more look at this decision and consider the alternatives – save the aircraft and use them operationally or mothball them until a time when there is less pressure on the public purse!"

Mr Hoyle has written to the Minister for Defence and local union officials for aerospace manufacturing urging all involved to use their influence to reconsider the decision.

* christopher.maguire@lep.co.uk