'No decision' taken over Moray RAF base futures

Michael Moore Michael Moore insisted no final decision had been made

The Scottish Secretary has insisted that no final decisions have been taken on the future of RAF bases in Moray.

RAF Kinloss is set to effectively close after the order for new Nimrods was cancelled, and there are growing fears for the future of RAF Lossiemouth.

It is thought Lossiemouth could lose its Tornado fleet to RAF Marham.

Michael Moore, speaking in the Commons, promised help would be provided to the local area but insisted no final decision had been made.

Later, during Prime Minister's Questions, David Cameron denied accusations of concentrating defence spending in the south of England.

Meanwhile, First Minister Alex Salmond has written to Defence Secretary Liam Fox setting out concerns about the RAF bases in Moray.

Mr Salmond said: "I fully appreciate that tough decisions must be made in times of financial constraints.

"However these sorts of decisions must also be fair, balanced and responsive to wider long-term social and economic impacts, particularly where these cannot be absorbed easily within local communities."

It is feared the base's Tornado fleet could be transferred to RAF Marham in Norfolk, where engineering work for the aircraft is already based.

It has been suggested RAF Kinloss could be retained as a barracks for soldiers returning from Germany.

Defence sources have already said the troops would not arrive until about 2015 at the earliest.

Moray's two RAF bases contribute more than £150m to the local economy annually and support about 5,700 jobs, a report said earlier this year.

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