Latest speculation over RAF Leuchars dismissed

RAF Leuchars main gate.

RAF Leuchars main gate.

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CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to battle on as D-day looms for RAF Leuchars.

With the Holyrood elections out of the way, UK ministers are now free to make an announcement over the future of the historic air base.

But as the rumour mill goes into overdrive, the task force spearheading efforts to save the base is refusing to give up the fight.

Carroll Finnie, vice-chair of the group, said: “The task force has written to Alex Salmond, John Swinney and our new MSP Rod Campbell seeking urgent talks over Leuchars.

“We feel the SNP has given the campaign to save RAF Lossiemouth more support than they’ve given us.

“The speculation in the media this week has upset a lot of people in the community, but we’ll definitely be carrying on the fight.”

Reports this week claimed a final recommendation had been made by officials to hand Leuchars over to the army.

But the Ministry of Defence (MoD) was quick to scotch the rumours, and an announcement failed to materialise.

An MoD spokeswoman said: “There is no decision yet on the future of the RAF bases in Scotland.

“The review of basing decisions will be announced as soon as possible, but it is important to make sure that decisions made are the right ones for the armed forces, rather than rush through the process, so analysis is still ongoing.”

North East Fife MP Sir Menzies Campbell also dismissed the speculation.

ASSURED

He said: “I have spoken to ministers in the relevant departments.

“I have been assured that no announcement is imminent and that when it is made the decision will be by ministers alone and not officials in the MoD or senior military commanders.

“Rumours of this kind will not deflect in any way the continuing campaign for the retention of RAF Leuchars.”

Meanwhile, Bob Garmory, president of Fife Chamber of Commerce, also blasted the rumours.

He said: “This sort of speculation is really unhelpful particularly to the service families who have loved ones serving their country in Afghanistan and Libya.

“The local community deserves better than this as they do all that they can to support the many families involved in these conflicts.”