North Thanet's MP, Roger Gale, is calling for action to speed up the inquests into the deaths of British service men and women killed on active service in Iraq and Iran.
In a specific question appearing on the Commons Order Paper today (for written answer tomorrow, 18th October) the MP asks the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs,
"When she expects the inquest into the death of Lieutenant Marc Lawrence, RN to commence".
Further questions, tabled for written answer next week, seek to probe the full extent of the number of inquests now outstanding and, following a Ministerial statement before the summer recess, what additional resources have been made available to and taken up by the Oxford coroner to expedite the hearings.
"My young constituent, Marc Lawrence, was killed in a Fleet Air Arm helicopter in March 2003" says the MP "and his body was recovered and flown to Brize Norton in June of the same year.
I appreciate that as all of the military bodies are flown into Oxfordshire this places a burden upon that Coroner's Office but this is something that a proud and caring nation ought to have made proper provision for. It is intolerable that grieving families are unable to bring closure upon an awful chapter in their lives because of bureaucratic delay. Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence have a right to know how and why and where their son died, as do all of those other bereaved families.
There appears to be something of a "service personnel get killed in war" attitude about this that does not reflect the requirement of the day and age and circumstances in which we live but might rather suggest a government in denial of the questionable nature of its cause.
I hope that the earlier Ministerial statement will now be followed up with ministerial action"