Gainsborough MP cites concerns over potential radioactivity at RAF Scampton
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During a House of Commons debate, the Tory MP criticised the Home Office for failing to assume control of the site from the Ministry of Defence, despite earlier announcements that up to 2,000 migrants would be housed at the base by July.
Sir Edward highlighted that, in addition to known asbestos issues at the base, there may be further reasons for concern, as revealed by a Cold War RAF veteran who had spent nine years at the location servicing Vulcan B2 bombers.
The veteran reported: “During that time, the RAF ensured our working clothing was regularly laundered to ensure complete removal of all radiation particles in the interest of our health and safety.
“The Vulcan aircraft were covered in radiation particles, particularly during high-level sorties and we were tasked to wash them down on a regular basis at a specially prepared area on the airfield
“The wash teams were supplied with special protective clothing to undertake this task.”
Sir Edward expressed dissatisfaction with the Home Office’s response, describing it as lacking reassurance. He quoted their statement which only confirmed they would “ensure all accommodation is safe, habitable, fit for purpose, and meets all regulatory requirements.”
He later contended the government should recognise RAF Scampton is a “far more complicated” site than initially thought and abandon the asylum centre plans.
Following a recent hearing at London’s Royal Courts of Justice, West Lindsey Council has been granted permission to apply for a judicial review of the Home Office’s plans.
The review is being conducted on the basis the government incorrectly relied on the environmental impact assessment screening decision and class Q planning permission.
Prior to the critical ruling, Sir Edward said, even if the judicial review were to proceed, it might not prevent the first wave of 200 men – predominantly from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran – from relocating to the base by mid-August.