Debate To Be Held On Libyan Soldiers At Bassingbourn Barracks
9 August 2015, 06:01
A debate will be held in the House of Commons on the decision to train Libyan soldiers at Bassingbourn Barracks.
Nearly 300 Libyan troops that had been stationed at Bassingbourn were sent home earlier this year following a series of sexual attacks in Cambridge.
Two Libyan cadets were jailed in May for raping a man in Cambridge, while three other cadets were jailed for offences, including sexual assault, which took place in Cambridge.
The Libyan government was also asked to pay for nearly £500,000 worth of damage caused by their troops to the barracks, with the total bill for the training coming to at least £14 million.
The debate, proposed by Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner, will be held on 10th September, and follows repeated requests from city councillors to the Secretary of State for Defence for an independent inquiry into the events.
The Secretary of State released a written statement to the House of Commons and published an edited summary of a Ministry of Defence (MoD) report on the arrangements for training Libyan troops, but the full report has not yet been issued.
Cllr Lewis Herbert, Leader of Cambridge City Council, said: "I am pleased that there will now be a parliamentary debate into the horrific events that took place in Cambridge following the decision to train Libyan troops nearby.
"This debate will provide MPs with a long overdue chance to discuss the very serious issues that have arisen following the decision to train Libyan troops at Bassingbourn.
"Cambridge City Council also calls on the MoD to publish their independent review in full. While we were impressed by the Army's response to some of the questions we posed to them, we have not yet seen evidence that the MoD has learned from these unacceptable attacks or properly analysed the lessons to be learnt given the long list of questions still unanswered.
"That is why I am repeating my call for a full independent inquiry, to ensure communities near MoD facilities across the country will not be exposed to similar risks in the future."