Scottish Secretary claims army ambulance help proves union and Westminster ‘more important than ever’

UK ministers have claimed the army’s support of the Scottish Ambulance Service shows the importance of the union and the Westminster government.

Alister Jack, Secretary of state for Scotland, made the claims in a statement alongside defence secretary Ben Wallace today.

The Scotland Office also appeared to be taking credit for the army’s involvement, with a statement claiming the request as made to the MoD “from the Scotland Office, working with Scottish Government.”

The MoD said 225 armed service personnel would be deployed, the first of which would be starting work with the Scottish Ambulance Service on Saturday.

Among them include 114 drivers and support staff, and 111 people who will operate mobile testing units, the UK Government said.

Those working on the mobile testing units will be based mainly across Glasgow and Edinburgh, and are due to begin their work on Wednesday September 29.

Mr Jack said the support showed the union had “never been so important”.

He said: “Our fantastic British Armed Forces have played a key role in the fight against Covid-19 across the UK and it is admirable to see them once supporting crucial public services in Scotland in times of need.

“The dedication and professionalism of the 225 personnel being deployed will be invaluable for the Scottish Ambulance Service and Covid Mobile Testing Units.

“We are grateful for all their efforts to keep us safe. As we have continued to see throughout the pandemic, the strength of the Union and support offered by the UK Government has never been more important.”

Mr Wallace added: “Our Armed Forces are once again stepping up, demonstrating their versatility as we support the Covid-19 response across the UK. We are proud to work alongside the dedicated men and women at the Scottish Ambulance Service as they continue to provide a lifesaving service to the people of Scotland.

“Our commitment to provide rapid support to communities and civil authorities is being delivered alongside the deployment of thousands of personnel on operations around the world.”

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992