Wyre MP makes a plea for British embassies

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Wyre and Preston North MP Ben Wallace has urged the Prime Minister to strengthen Britain’s network of defence attachés in British embassies.

Speaking as Britain mourned the rising death toll in the Algerian hostage crisis, Mr Wallace continued: “One way that Britain can protect her interests abroad by identifying threat is through a good strong network of defence attachés across our embassies. In the past decade, that network has weakened slightly.”

MP David Cameron replied he would be happy to reconsider this issue, saying: “I have been struck on my travels by the fact that the relationship between the defence attaché and foreign Governments is often one of the strongest we have.”

Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday Mr Wallace praised the PM for dealing with the underlying causes of terrorism abroad “through the proper focus of international development.” The Government is due to publish a paper on its defence engagement strategy shortly.

Meanwhile, Lancaster and Fleetwood MP Eric Ollerenshaw has highlighted the need to improve the recruitment and retention of specialist accident and emergency doctors in the National Health Service.

Suggesting there was a case for special bursaries to be offered, he said: “Might it be time for us to take a leaf out of the Department for Education’s book and consider offering scholarships or bursaries tied to doing the job for a certain number of years in order to improve recruitment and retention in this difficult area?”

Health Minister Daniel Poulter replied that the Government’s emergency medicine task force was looking to increase recruitment of middle-grade doctors to A and E specialities.