» Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Nimrod Review

Asked if the Government had confidence it was able to do business with BAE systems given the Hadden Cave review on the Nimrod aircraft, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman said that the Secretary of State for Defence made a statement to the House of Commons this afternoon; the Cave review was a very full report of six hundred pages, which took twenty-two months to produce, so therefore it was important that, beyond what the Secretary of State had said today including apologising to the families involved in the tragic accident, the Government needed to carefully consider the lessons going forward.

Put that one of the reasons the review had taken so long was because BAE had tried to prevent the progress of the inquiry, the PMS said that it was not for him to comment on an individual company named in the review.

Asked for the Prime Minister’s general reaction to the Cave review and what he would say to the families of those who had lost loved ones in regards to those culpable losing their jobs, the PMS said that the Prime Minister shared the view expressed by Bob Ainsworth in the House of Commons today; the Secretary of State had paid tribute to those service personnel killed in the accident and extended the Government’s sympathies to their families, friends and colleagues. The Government recognised that mistakes were made and was deeply sorry that as a result lives were lost. The review made clear that two of the key people involved in the situation were no longer in their previous roles and there had been the appointment of a new Defence Chief Airworthiness Engineer.

Asked if the Prime Minister accepted that the Government encouraged the prioritising of constraints on spending over safety, the PMS said that the Prime Minister thought that safety should never be compromised and Bob Ainsworth had made that clear in his statement.

Asked if the Prime Minister accepted that cutbacks cost lives, the PMS said that this was a full report, which had been submitted to the Ministry of Defence and the Secretary of State had made a statement. The Government had apologised for the situation and sent its apologies to the families concerned. All we could do now was look forward and make sure that we put measures in place to ensure that this never happened again.

Asked if any further action would be taken against those deemed responsible, the PMS said that Bob Ainsworth had made clear that there would be a full study of the report and it was possible that further measures would be taken.

Asked if the Prime Minister had full confidence in Bob Ainsworth, the PMS said yes.

Put that Bob Ainsworth had expressed regret at what had happened and asked if the Prime Minister would use the same language, the PMS said that the Prime Minister echoed exactly what Bob Ainsworth had said during his statement today.

original source.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Search for related news

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