Page last updated at 09:50 GMT, Friday, 20 June 2008 10:50 UK

MP joins Snatch vehicle criticism

Richard Larkin (MOD photo)
L/Cpl Larkin died when the Snatch Land Rover hit a mine

An MP has joined calls for the controversial Snatch Land Rover to be withdrawn after one of his constituents was killed by a mine in Afghanistan.

L/Cpl Richard Larkin, 39, from Cookley, Worcestershire, was serving as a part-time nurse in an SAS regiment.

Wyre Forest MP Dr Richard Taylor said he would be writing to Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth.

Patrick Mercer MP said the vehicles were "unsuitable for operations in Afghanistan".

The former colonel in the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters regiment told the Commons the lightly armoured vehicles were a "death trap".

'It's awful'

Mr Ainsworth replied: "Obviously Snatch has suffered some considerable setbacks and we have lost lives in Snatch Land Rovers.

"But all that I am being told by commanders on the ground, is that they still need Land Rover-based platforms... and they will do for the foreseeable future."

Dr Taylor said he found this "very hard to understand".

He told BBC Hereford and Worcester: "When you don't know where your enemy is, when you don't know who your enemy is and you don't know where the mines are you've got to have every possible means of protection available.

"That's what they don't appear to have. It's awful."

Night charge nurse

He said L/Cpl Larkin's death was "an absolute sadness", adding: "I feel for the family, I shall try and be in touch with them next week when the immediate pain has just begun to lessen a fraction and ask them if I can help in any way."

L/Cpl Larkin, a member of the Territorial Army, was one of four soldiers killed in an explosion near Lashkar Gah, in Helmand Province.

The father-of-three was a night charge nurse at Evesham Community Hospital, Worcestershire NHS Primary Care Trust said.

His role was running the minor injuries unit and the rest of the hospital overnight.

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