Rasen MP puts pressure on Government to keep Red Arrows in county

The Red Arrows
The Red Arrows

Market Rasen MP Sir Edward Leigh has urged the Government Defence Minister to keep the Red Arrows in Lincolnshire.

The aerobatic team is currently based at RAF Scampton, but the Ministry of Defence last year announced the base would close by 2022 due to cost saving measures.

Thousands of residents have signed online petitions opposing the closure and pleaded with the Government to keep the Red Arrows in the county.

Speaking in Parliament last week (February 18) Sir Edward thanked Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood for his work so far with West Lindsey District Council on the future of RAF Scampton.

And Sir Edward piled on pressure in the case for the Red Arrows to remain in Lincolnshire.

He said: “As a member of Parliament representing RAF Scampton, may I thank my Rt Hon friend for the work he’s done in trying to secure a future for RAF Scampton with our local district authority, West Lindsey.

“But, can I urge upon him the desire of all Lincolnshire people, which is not based on emotion but is on sound grounded fact, that the Red Arrows should stay in Lincolnshire. And we can provide good employment for at least 400 people.

“The three bases he’s alluded to are all within 15 or 20 miles of each other.

“We have superb air space, great RAF history, so please can we keep the Red Arrows in Lincolnshire?”

Responding to Sir Edward, Mr Ellwood said: “Could I pay tribute to my honorable friend’s determination to have the works, the heritage and the history of RAF Scampton recognised by this place [Parliament]. His constituents and others will note that.

“The museum there - it’s very, very important for that to continue

“He’ll [Sir Edward Leigh] be aware that where the RAF Red Arrows are based is partly due to an operational capability, to actually make sure that they are serviced.

“The air space is run by the Civil Aviation Authority and that’s a separate discussion to be had with them.”