NEW uncertainty over the future of RAF Leuchars as an army base has prompted North East Fife MP Sir Menzies Campbell to seek urgent clarification on the issue.
He has written to Defence Secretary Philip Hammond following comments made by Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey in the House of Commons that seemed to suggest there was doubt about the army moving in.
In a response to a question from Sir Menzies, Mr Harvey said on Monday that no final decisions would be made until early next year because of a major restructuring exercise by the army.
However, Sir Menzies said afterwards that any delay in the implementation of the undertakings given that army units would be based at Leuchars would be a matter of ‘real concern’ to his constituents, who inevitably drew attention to the firm proposals recently announced for RAF Kinloss and wondered why Leuchars cannot be treated similarly.
“It appears that the future of the military base at Leuchars is once again up for discussion,” said Sir Menzies.
“Many people in Fife are already very anxious that there should be no gap between the RAF leaving the base and the army moving in.
“The Ministry of Defence were able recently to give details about its plans for Kinloss, but the absence of any mention of Leuchars seem significant.
“If there are now question marks over the army coming to Fife the Government needs to set out what the options are that it is now considering for the base.
“The strategic case for the retention of Leuchars as part of Britain’s air defence has never been seriously challenged.
“I will continue to make it at every opportunity.
“If the army are not to come to Leuchars then the RAF need not leave.”