RAF base campaigners ask Prince William for help

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PRINCE William has been dragged into the row over saving Scotland’s RAF bases after campaigners wrote asking for his support.

Campaigners trying to save RAF Leuchars in Fife have asked the heir to the throne to intervene to spare the base where he learned to fly.

The 4,000-strong campaign group also point out Leuchars is close to St Andrews, where Prince William went to university and met Kate Middleton.

The Royal was widely reported to have successfully intervened to overturn plans to privatise the search and rescue base in Wales where he is a pilot.

Prince William and Kate Middleton will visit St Andrews this Friday on what will be their first official engagement north of the border.

RAF Leuchars campaigners have not ruled out mounting a protest at the event to draw attention to the closure threat.

Savage defence cuts mean it is likely one of Scotland’s two remaining RAF bases, Leuchars and Lossiemouth, will close. RAF Kinloss is set to close this year.

In the letter sent to Prince William today (Fri), the campaigners say: “As you will be aware, local people are being forced to fight to save their bases.

“The closure of any base will be terrible for the economy, which has already been seen following the decision to close RAF Kinloss, as property prices in Moray have started dropping.

“The 13 bases in England are relatively close and share the same airspace, but Leuchars and Lossiemouth are spread out enough to justify keeping them both.

“I would ask for your support in backing the campaign to save RAF Leuchars, as we see it is a necessary service to the country.”

Cally Day, head of the Save RAF Lossiemouth, revealed she too has tried to bring the prince into their campaign.

She said: “I wrote to Prince William two weeks ago and I am awaiting his response.

“Clearly he is concerned about search and rescue bases after because he lobbied the prime minister about his own base in Wales.

“In the letter I’ve left it up to him – I haven’t specifically asked him to join the campaign but just to lend us his support.”

A spokesman from Clarence House, who represent the prince, said: “Prince William has made it clear that when it comes to the armed forces he was always wanted to be treated as anyone else.

“Campaigners are more than welcome to send in their letters but he is unlikely to want to comment either way.”

The campaign already has the backing of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Liberal Democrat MP for North East Fife, Menzies Campbell.

A spokesman for Mr Campbell declined to comment on the approach to the Royals.

He said his office had approached a number of “high profile people” to get them on board, but refused to give details until they had responded.

A spokesman for Scottish Conservatives said: “It is for the campaigners to decide how best to push their case. The Royals are only involved if they choose to be.”

Prince William, a search and rescue pilot, has strong ties to the area after completing a degree in geography and meeting his wife-to-be.

The prince was reported to have successfully lobbied Prime Minister David Cameron over the controversial plans to privatise RAF Valley, Wales, where he is currently based.

1 COMMENT

  1. Cally Day is not the voice of Moray.The Moray Task Force and Lossie Action Group are the official campaigning voices in Moray. Further comments by Cally are her opinions and her opinions only!
    regards
    Alistair
    On behalf of ‘save moray’ on facebook (not linked to or associated with any political party or campaigning group)

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