MP CLAIMS VISTORY AFTER CAMPAIGN TO KEEP GOSPORT NAVY TRAINING BASE
GOSPORT MP Dame Caroline Dinenage has welcomed the news that the future of HMS Sultan is now secure.
The 2016 MoD document, ‘A Better Defence Estate’, set out plans to dispose of 91 military sites across the UK which would have seen the Gosport Royal Navy training base close.
In a recent update from the Minister of State for Defence Procurement, Alec Chalk, it was confirmed that the MoD no longer intends to dispose of HMS Sultan.
This Ministry of Defence change of heart on Sultan comes after a hard fought campaign by the local MP to demonstrate its closure would be detrimental to Royal Navy engineering training, “a financial disaster for the MoD and a betrayal of the Gosport community”.
Dame Caroline met with former Defence Secretary Michael Fallon shortly after the 2016 announcement and in 2017 brought then Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood to Gosport to visit Sultan and show him at first-hand the importance of retaining the Ofsted-excellent-rated training establishment.
In 2019, the MoD reconsidered its plans and announced HMS Sultan would close but not before 2029.
Since then, Dame Caroline has continued to campaign against its closure and most recently bought the Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, to the area.
She said: “I’m delighted that the Ministry of Defence have finally concluded what local people have always known, that closing HMS Sultan would be a huge mistake for the MoD the Royal Navy and Gosport.
“This area has a proud history of serving our Armed Forces and excellent facilities such as these are vital to ensuring that our personnel are equipped with the skills they need to defend our country.”
PICTURED: A library picture of Gosport MP Dame Caroline Dinenage outside 10 Downing Street