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02 January 2019
After an unpublished document surrounding fire safety in army barracks was obtained by The Sun newspaper, Conservative MP Johnny Mercer commented how “animals would not be housed in such dangerous conditions”
According to the document, Defence Safety Authority inspectors found that financial cuts had led to an “unacceptable degradation” of barracks.
The report noted that the likelihood of a fire resulting in “significant loss of life, loss of capability and damage to the MoD’s reputation will remain high” unless “major weaknesses” are addressed.
Although the report is unpublished, the findings were mentioned in the DSA’s annual report, published in October 2019, which revealed 373 fires were reported across armed forces’ homes in 2017-18.
The report found, in single living accommodation used by unmarried soldiers, there was faulty equipment and “broken or unserviceable infrastructure.”
Johnny Mercer is a former army officer and member of the commons defence committee and states how it is “disgraceful how ministers talk up our armed forces at every opportunity, and yet, away from the spotlight, ask our most loyal public servants to endure totally unacceptable and lethal living environments.”
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) responded, saying that all its buildings met fire regulations and £4bn was being invested on modernising sites across the country.