Posted on October 13, 2017
Calls Grow For Red Arrows Debate Amid Concerns Over Team’s Future
he Leader of the House of Commons has backed calls to debate the future of the Red Arrows, amid concerns regarding the display team.
The move from Andrea Leadsom comes after former Labour minister Diana Johnson pressed the government to offer assurances regarding future of the world-famous aerobatics display team, following the announcement that BAE Systems will be cutting nearly 2,000 jobs.
The Labour Party had previously made calls for the government to bring forward orders to replace the RAF fleet of Hawk aircraft, in a bid to provide more work for the British company.
Ms Leadsom said she would “absolutely support” the seeking of a parliamentary debate, stating that this could emerge via the Backbench Business Committee.
Speaking at the House of Commons, Ms Johnson asked Ms Leadsom:
“Could we please have a debate on the future of the Red Arrows?
“For decades, the Red Arrows display team has showcased the best of British aeronautical manufacturing around the world.
“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.”
Former lead pilot, Squadron Leader Jim Turner, had previously said that the jets would need to be replaced in 2018.
Ms Leadsom replied to the call for debate by saying:
“I think, like many members, we’d all pay tribute to the excellent displays put on by the Red Arrows – not least of which at the British Grand Prix in my constituency at Silverstone Circuit where they fly overhead every year, and I can actually see them from my garden.”
“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).
“I’m sure they’d be plenty of interest in such a debate.”