THE fight to save the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers could be extended to the House of Lords.
That’s the hope of Bury North MP David Nuttall, despite being told the Army is to go-ahead with planned changes which could effectively see the 600-strong armoured infantry unit being disbanded by 2014.
Undaunted, however, the MP has pledged to continue his House of Commons campaign to save the battalion.
In October, following a Commons debate over the controversial issue, MPs voted 57-3 to oppose proposals to axe the 2RRF.
In a question raised in the House of Commons last Thursday, Mr Nuttall said: “On October 18, the House passed a motion calling on the Government to reverse their decision to disband the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. May we have a statement on when and how the Government propose to respond to that motion?” Leader of the House Andrew Lansley replied that ministers responded not only at the time, but at questions subsequently. And he stressed: “The Army will continue to implement the changes announced on July 5 by the Secretary of State of Defence, and further uncertainty for serving Fusiliers would be unhelpful. We now need to support them through the battalion merger as they look to the future.”
Despite the rebuttal, Mr Nuttall said: “I raised this matter with the Leader of the House as it is important to demonstrate the campaign has not gone away. Indeed, we are continuing to seek opportunities to continue to raise this matter inside the House of Commons and are also looking at ways the campaign can be extended to the House of Lords.”
Mr Nuttall continued: “I was not surprised with the answer from the Leader of the House as one would not expect any reversal of the decision to be announced by him.”
Previously, Prime Minister David Cameron agreed to meet MPs spearheading the campaign to save the battalion. Mr Nuttall and other Parliamentarians plan a series of further meetings in an effort to strengthen their case for the retention of the battalion.