Nimrod MP hails coroners inquest amendments
News that families of Scottish service personnel killed abroad will no longer have to travel to England to attend their loved one's inquests under proposed amendments to the coroners system, has been welcomed by SNP Westminster leader and Defence spokesperson, Angus Robertson MP, who has led the political campaign for the change.
The amendments follow an agreement between Scottish and UK Ministers to allow Fatal Accident Inquiries (FAI’s) into overseas military deaths be undertaken in Scotland.
At present all UK service personnel killed abroad are repatriated to England and all inquiries are conducted by an English Coroners Inquest necessitating significant costs and long round trips for family members. There is currently no provision for Scottish Fatal Accident Inquiries into overseas military deaths.
The anomalous situation was highlighted in September 2006 following the loss of Nimrod XV230 in Afghanistan. Although ten of the fourteen service personnel killed aboard the aircraft were based in RAF Kinloss in Moray, which Mr Robertson represents, the inquest into the fatal crash took place in Oxfordshire.
Mr Robertson said:
“I am delighted that the Scottish Government and UK Ministers have worked behind the scenes to secure a way forward that will allow inquiries into overseas military deaths in Scotland.
“This issue has always been about family members who deserve the best support and assistance after the deaths of a loved one. It was crazy that Service families in Scotland have had to travel so far and at great cost to inquiries in the south of England.
”Our aim was always to minimise the distress caused to bereaved families of service personnel killed overseas in service.
”These amendments to the coroners system will make real difference for Service families in Scotland.”