Having seen off plans by the Government to scrap HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark, Luke Pollard, the MP for Devonport, has been pressing Ministers for news of their replacements.
For the past few years, the threat to Devonport’s largest ships has been real. HMS Ocean, the Royal Navy flagship, and Devonport’s largest ship was sold to Brazil reducing the number of amphibious assault ships in the Royal Navy by a third. Luke fought a cross-party campaign to stop Ministers scrapping or selling Devonport’s remaining amphibious ships HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark.
These two ships are due to end their service for the Royal Navy in 2034 and in a reply to a question from the Labour MP, Minister Jeremy Quinn has revealed that plans for a replacement are now underway with the design at “concept stage.”
“I’m proud to come from a naval family and for me defending jobs in Devonport is personal as well as professional. I was proud to lead the campaign to stop the Government scrap HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark. “I now want to see the design of new amphibious approved and the new ships built in British shipyards. Importantly they must remain based in Devonport, close to the Royal Marines. To ensure there is no gap in service, we need designs brought forward in the next few years and I will press Ministers to ensure that they are worthy replacements for the trusty and sturdy Albion-class ships.”
Councillor Bill Stevens, Labour Council for Devonport ward said:
“Residents in Devonport are used to seeing these big grey ships on the horizon. We know that basing ships in Devonport is good for our local economy and good for the Royal Navy. We are all backing the campaign to build the new amphibious ships in British shipyards and for them to stay in Devonport.”