Iraq — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:50 pm on 18th December 2008.

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Photo of Lord Lee of Trafford Lord Lee of Trafford Spokesperson in the Lords (Tourism), Culture, Media & Sport, Spokesperson in the Lords, Defence, Whip 2:50 pm, 18th December 2008

My Lords, apart from the troops who will stay in Iraq on a training mission and, no doubt, some specialist units who will be heading to Afghanistan, we will be bringing back quite sizeable forces to this country. Are the Government satisfied that we will have accommodation available of the quantity and quality which those troops are entitled to expect? I am conscious that the Defence Minister is in her place; it is appreciated. Perhaps the noble Baroness, Lady Taylor, could write to me on that issue.

Having put up with the dangers and deprivations of Iraq, it would be quite outrageous if only substandard accommodation was available. I know that the Government are working on a fairly sizeable upgrading programme for accommodation; nevertheless, I hope that they may have considered accelerating that programme, which would obviously benefit our forces that are coming back. In wider economic terms, it would also benefit our construction industry on a regional basis.