Mil News MOD Blood on its hands

John A Silkstone

Mi General
MI.Net Member
Jul 11, 2004
SAS commander says MoD has 'blood on its hands' over Snatch Land Rovers

Major Sebastian Morley, the SAS commander who resigned over "unsafe" Snatch Land Rovers in Afghanistan, has accused the Government of having "blood on its hands".

Over the past four years 37 servicemen and women have been killed in Snatch Land Rovers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Speaking for the first time since he stepped down, Major Morley says the Ministry of Defence was being "cavalier at best, criminal at worst".

He also accuses Quentin Davies, the minister for defence equipment and support, of telling an "unacceptable lie" after the deaths of four of his soldiers.

Major Morley, 40, says his warnings over the Snatch Land Rover were repeatedly ignored. He resigned after four soldiers were killed when their Snatch vehicle hit an anti-tank mine in Helmand province in June.

Among the casualties was Cpl Sarah Bryant, the first female soldier to die in Afghanistan.

Over the past four years 37 servicemen and women have been killed in the vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Major Morley says: "I had to resign. I had warned them (the MoD) time and time again that there were going to be needless deaths if we were not given the right equipment, and they ignored this advice.

"There is blood on their hands."

After the deaths of Cpl Bryant and her colleagues Mr Davies claimed that Army commanders chose which vehicles troops would use and that sometimes they might choose the wrong equipment. The minister later said he had not meant to cause offence.

But Major Morley says the comments prompted him to speak out about his concerns over the Afghanistan campaign.

"A government minister is on record telling a lie about four deaths, and this is unacceptable," he said. "There was no other vehicle to use. The simple truth is that the protection on these vehicles is inadequate and this led to the unnecessary deaths."

In wide-ranging interviews with The Daily Telegraph and Tatler magazine, Major Morley also raises doubts over the current conduct of the campaign that he believed was being undermined by a lack of resources.

However, an MoD spokesman said: "British forces are better equipped than ever before, with new technology and state of the art armoured vehicles continuing to arrive in Afghanistan.

"We accept that Snatch is not suitable for high risk environments but it is adequate for the job it is given."

He added that Mr Davies had made clear that any offence caused by remarks he made on the issue was entirely inadvertent.