Support for debate on Red Arrows’ future
Calls to debate the Red Arrows’ future, amid long-term concerns about the display team, have been backed by Commons leader Andrea Leadsom.
Labour former minister Diana Johnson pressed the Government to offer assurances about the Royal Air Force aerobatic team after BAE Systems announced plans to cut almost 2,000 jobs.
Speaking in the Commons, Ms Johnson, Kingston upon Hull North, told Ms Leadsom: “The Hawk Trainers used by the Red Arrows and built at Brough, just outside Hull, have been due to go out of service in 2020 as the (then) prime minister David Cameron said in 2014 and as the (former) lead pilot, Squadron Leader Jim Turner, said that the jets would need to be replaced in 2018.
“So I think this is timely, in light of the announcement from BAE Systems this week, that we have this discussion about the future of the Red Arrows.”
Ms Leadsom replied: “I think it’s a fantastic sight and they do a brilliant job, so I would absolutely support the honourable lady and I’m sure she could speak to (Backbench Business Committee chairman Ian Mearns).”