The Press Association writes that:
A major military exercise in London to test security ahead of the Olympics “achieved its objectives” and final decisions on whether to deploy equipment including surface-to-air missiles will now be taken, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has said.
Philip Hammond, the ‘defence’ Secretary also says that:
“The exercise achieved its objectives and I’m confident we are well placed to deliver this important role.”
Local MP Heidi Alexander asked:
“It is my understanding a final ministerial decision has yet to be taken (on missiles at Blackheath).
“When will that decision be made and will the Ministry of Defence (MoD) be in direct contact with residents who live in close proximity to the proposed sites to inform them of the decision?”
Mr Hammond said: “You are right. We have now received the military advice on the outcome of the exercise that took place and ministers will now consider that advice and make a final decision about the deployment of ground-based air defence systems.
“As you would expect, when a decision is taken it will be made first to this House but I will ensure the Army then engages with residents who live in close proximity to the sites to make sure they are aware of all the ramifications of the decision, if the decision is indeed taken to go ahead and deploy.”
So with the Olympics starting next month, they still can’t decide whether putting missiles on the heath to blow up aeroplanes over London is a dumb idea. Or perhaps they have already decided, but are deferring the decision until the last possible moment.
Interestingly, there’s no mention of whether the missile’s guards will be unarmed, as was suggested in one of the previous local leaflets.
By the way, the quotation marks in the headline are mine. If they can editorialise through scare quotes, so can I…