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Special Representative to Gibraltar

Volume 522: debated on Wednesday 26 January 2011

I am pleased to announce today the appointment of the hon. Member for Epping Forest (Mrs Laing) as special representative to Gibraltar for defence.

The strategic defence and security review reaffirmed the importance of the permanent joint operating base in Gibraltar, which provides the armed forces with the ability to deploy force around the world and respond to changing strategic circumstances.

The hon. Lady’s role as special representative will be to work with the Government of Gibraltar, the Ministry of Defence and Commander British Forces Gibraltar on a range of issues connected with the continued presence of the permanent joint operating base.

She will also work closely with the Governor of Gibraltar, whose constitutional responsibilities include defence and internal security and external affairs.

The special representative may also undertake additional defence tasks by agreement with the Ministry of Defence.

The hon. Lady has agreed that she will resign as chair of the all-party parliamentary Gibraltar group.