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Soldier's wife: 'Cottesmore is a lovely base'

The wife of a soldier who moved from a British Army base in Cyprus to Cottesmore in July 2012, has told ITV News Central that the base in Rutland is a perfect place to move to.

Susie Mitchell has moved on four occasions, all of which were extremely well organised, she said.

It was today announced that Cottesmore will home additional troops following the relocation of soldiers currently based in Germany.

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Soldiers to head from Germany to the Midlands

Prince Philip meets British troops at Fallingbostel in Germany in 2011 Credit: PA

The Ministry of Defence has today announced that around 11,000 soldiers will be relocated from Germany to the UK, in a bid to cut costs.

Many changes will alter the military landscape across the Midlands.

Cottesmore

7th Theatre Logistic Regiment from The Royal Logistic Corps, to move from Germany to Cottesmore by 2013.

5th FS Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers to move from Tidworth Devizes to Cottesmore by 2015.

Stafford

1st and 16th Signal Regiment to move from Herford Germany to Stafford by 2015.

Shrewsbury

The current Headquarters 143rd (West Midlands) Brigade will merge with 11th Signal Brigade in Donnington, near Telford, to form the RPoC Headquarters in the West Midlands.

North Luffenham

2nd Medical Regiment to move from Hohne, Germany to North Luffenham by 2015.

1st Military Working Dogs Regiment (Royal Army Veterinary Corps) to move from Sennelager Germany to North Luffenham by 2015.

Also announced by the Defence Secretary, Phillip Hammond, was the closure of Copthorne Barracks in Shrewsbury.

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Army changes to save '£240 million a year'

The Defence Secretary says the changes will save £240 million a year in running costs as soldiers are moved into "clusters" in key locations. Returning forces will mainly be stationed around Salisbury Plain, Edinburgh and Leuchars, Catterick, Aldershot, Colchester, Stafford and the East Midlands.

Howe Barracks in Canterbury, one of the bases facing closure
Howe Barracks in Canterbury, one of the bases facing closure Credit: Press Association
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Supreme Court hears soldiers' families damages bid

Relatives of soldiers killed fighting in Iraq today began the latest phase of their fight for the right to launch damages claims against the Government.

Families want to sue for negligence and to make claims under human rights legislation.

The Supreme Court in Westminster, central London. Credit: Press Association

The Supreme Court began hearing arguments from lawyers representing relatives and counter-arguments from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) at a hearing in London.

Judges in the Court of Appeal and in the High Court have already considered the issues.

In October 2012, appeal judges said relatives could bring negligence claims but not claims under human rights legislation

In June 2011, a High Court judge had come to the same conclusions.

A panel of seven Supreme Court justices is expected to analyse arguments over the next four days.

Lawyers today began by outlining arguments relating to human rights legislation and are due to debate negligence issues later in the week.

Justices are expected to reserve judgment and deliver a ruling later in the year.

If given the go-ahead by the Supreme Court, relatives would be entitled to launch damages claims in the High Court.

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Widow: The MoD has a 'duty of care' to employees

Debi Allbutt has spent ten years trying to hold the MoD to account over the death of her husband, in March 2003.

Corporal Stephen Allbutt died in a “friendly fire” incident in Basra.

Debi felt there could have been better training for the use of equipment.

She said: "In every day life our employers have a duty of care to all their employees, so what makes the MoD any different?"

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Soldiers' relatives in court with damage claims against MoD

Relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq will today ask the UK's senior judges to rule that they can bring damages claims against the Government.

Lawyers have said the families want the right to sue for negligence to make claims under human rights legislation.

The hearing is expected to last four days Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

The hearing, which is expected to last four days at the Supreme Court, will analyse arguments from lawyers representing relatives and counter-arguments from the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Relatives say the MoD failed to provide armoured vehicles or equipment which could have saved lives, and should pay compensation.

But the MoD says decisions about battlefield equipment are for politicians and military commanders.

Widow of soldier killed in Iraq "every employer has a duty of care, the MoD should be no different"

Debi the widow of Corporal Stephen Allbutt from Stoke-on-Trent who was killed in Iraq learned this morning from the court of appeal that she and others can continue on with their legal battle to sue the Government for the way their relatives were killed.

The families are claiming the Ministry of Defence were negligent in failing to provide equipment that could have saved lives.

The duty of care owed by the Ministry of Defence "has been recognised"

The Ministry of Defence has failed in its attempts to get a negligence claim thrown out of court.

Families of Private Phillip Hewett and Corporal Stephen Allbutt claim that the MoD didn't deliver a duty of care.

In his judgment today, Lord Neuberger described the MoD’s arguments as ‘fatally flawed’ and agreed that the claims should continue.

“The duty of care owed by the MoD, as employer, to the members of the armed forces, as employees, does exist and has been recognised, without demur, by the courts. It includes a duty to provide safe systems of work and safe equipment, as I have demonstrated. There was no suggestion that the courts were ill-equipped to deal with such issues, or that the resolution of the claims would be detrimental to the troops. The question whether a duty of care owed by the MoD to armed forces should be recognised has long since been answered. There is no basis for asking it in the instant appeals”

– Lord Neuberger speaking today
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