HC Deb 06 March 2003 vol 400 c1155W
John McDonnell

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consideration he has given to the impact on the armed forces of the potential use of hand-held surface to air missiles on aviation security. [100718]

Mr. Ingram

The lead responsibility for counterterrorism in the United Kingdom rests with the Home Office and the police. They work closely with the Department for Transport and the transport industries to counter threats against civil aviation and other transport mfrastmcture. As well as being responsible for the security of our own estate and assets, the Ministry of Defence provides support to the civil authorities ni responding to the terrorist threat, through the use of the Armed Forces and the provision of scientific and technical expertise. In particular, we have, on a number of occasions, provided support to the police in enhancing civil aviation security, most recently during the security alert at Heathrow last month. Similar support will be made available in future should the need arise.

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