[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 25 November, 2004, 18:06 GMT
'Scrapping' hint over regiments
Campaigners
Campaigners have opposed plans to change regiment structure
Senior defence officials have indicated that the Scottish infantry regiments look likely to be scrapped in their present form, the BBC has learned.

Officials still stress that no final decision has been taken.

However, strong hints have been given that the six existing regiments will not remain as single battalion regiments.

Defence sources say they believe people will be surprised at the amount of "tradition" that will still remain.

A final announcement on the future of Scotland's infantry is expected to come next month after the Black Watch has returned from its current tour of duty.

Sources say the names of Scotland's six regiments may still continue as battalions, but as part of a larger grouping.

'Not good enough'

However, opposition parties have reacted furiously to the reports, saying Scottish soldiers have been betrayed by the government while they are "in the line of fire in Iraq" - a reference to members of the Black Watch and Scots Guards currently serving there.

Peter Duncan, Scotland's only Conservative MP, called on the Labour Party to stop "playing political games".

He said: "We have seen the usual Labour games on regiments, leaving the families and soldiers of Scotland in limbo land. It's not good enough and they deserve to know what the future holds for them.

"If the decision is taken to abolish Scotland's regiments, we will reinstate all six within the very first week of a Conservative government after the next general election."


SEE ALSO:
Commons assault on army cutbacks
17 Nov 04 |  Scotland
PM pressed on regiments decision
11 Nov 04 |  Scotland
'No decision on Scots regiments'
10 Nov 04 |  Scotland
Councils rally to defend regiment
27 Aug 04 |  Scotland
Colonels call for regiment merger
06 Oct 04 |  Scotland


RELATED BBC LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific