Call for personal apology from PM

Fife Ness coastguard station
Fife Ness coastguard station

THE UK’s s Prime Minister should visit Crail personally and apologise after he made a “misleading” comment on the future of coastguard bases.

Area MSP Roderick Campbell has made the call after a letter was sent to the campaign group Coastguard SOS in which Mr Cameron stated that “those centres that are planned for closure will remain open until 2015”.

Campaigners looking to save Forth Coastguard station in Crail had hoped that this apparent intervention from David Cameron had signalled a temporary reprieve for the base.

However, the Marine Coastguard Agency has now contradicted the Prime Minister’s letter, stating that “the reform of Coastguard stations will go ahead as planned”.

Fife Ness Coastguard station is due to wind down from September, handing over full responsibility to the station in Aberdeen after formal closure at the end of the year.

Mr Campbell MSP told the Mail that the PM now needed to apologise for his apparent error.

He said: “For David Cameron to send out a letter offering hope to Fife Ness Coastguard station, only for his statement to be quickly overridden, is an insult to those Coastguard staff that face redundancy or relocation.

“It is rubbing salt into the wounds of communities that are facing the loss of a valuable public safety facility. David Cameron should come to Crail and apologise for misleading the people of Fife on this matter.

“For the Prime Minister to personally sign a letter giving such false hope suggests to me that he is blithely unaware of what his own Government is doing.

“The UK Government’s decision on HM Coastguard Fife Ness will impact upon real people’s jobs, harm communities and potentially threaten lives.

“Moving the responsibility for the sector covered from Crail up to Aberdeen is, in my view, dangerously short-sighted.

“Perhaps if Mr Cameron does the decent thing and comes to apologise in person, he can hear first-hand the folly of what his Government is planning.”

Mr Cameron has since said the reforms will go ahead as planned.