Commenting on yesterday’s [Wednesday] NAO report on airworthiness problems with Britain’s Chinook helicopters, Liberal Democrat Shadow Defence Secretary, Nick Harvey said:
"Even by the usual standards of MoD procurement sagas, this report really beggars belief.
"It is scandalous that while our troops are desperate for helicopters in Afghanistan, eight Chinooks have been left on the tarmac back in Britain.
"This is a dismal tale of dithering, bad planning, and the gross waste of public funds. It is incredible that millions can be frittered away on bad decisions and yet penny pinching on other MoD equipment has cost the lives of service personnel.
"The MoD seems to be in a state of meltdown, yet Gordon Brown is offering neither concern nor leadership."
A government spokesman promised that the Chinooks, which have been stored in an air-conditioned hangar for the last eight years, will start to become available at the end of next year.