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Armed Forces: Non-combat Incidents and Jurisdictional Constraints

Volume 741: debated on Monday 20 November 2023

4. What discussions he has had with his US counterpart on increasing awareness of (a) non-combat incidents and (b) jurisdictional constraints affecting the armed forces. (900150)

I thank the Minister for his answer. It is fast approaching the sixth anniversary of Captain Dean Sprouting being killed, in a road traffic accident in 2018 while on operational duties, by US servicemen. The US guardsmen did not adhere to any standard operation procedures or health and safety regulations, driving unsuitable and poorly maintained vehicles on an unnecessary journey. Captain Sprouting’s death was both avoidable and preventable, and it would not have occurred had the US servicemen involved adhered to the regulations. Despite the continuous efforts of his widow, Linda, for the Ministry of Defence to highlight the complicated jurisdictional procedures involved in blue-on-blue incidents, Linda and her boys continue to suffer the consequences on a daily basis. What I would like to ask the Minister is: given that the Defence Minister in the Lords—

Order. I think the Minister must have got the gist by now and be able to answer with something. [Interruption.] Just to help the hon. Member for Falkirk (John Mc Nally), I have to try to get through a list of what are meant to be questions. I gave him a long time to ask a question, and it was not forthcoming. If I do not do this, I will not get through the other people who wish to ask questions.

The hon. Gentleman raises a very complicated case and the widow, to whom I send my condolences, is obviously keen to see the matter resolved. I suggest that the hon. Gentleman and I meet to discuss the issue in appropriate detail.

I am happy to look at an Adjournment debate, if that helps, but we have to have short questions to get other people in.