Ministry of Defence denies sensitive military equipment left at Norfolk barn
PUBLISHED: 17:59 29 January 2019 | UPDATED: 08:39 30 January 2019
The Ministry of Defence has denied claims that sensitive military equipment has been left at a warehouse in north Norfolk.
The Times newspaper has reported that items stored at the former Used Equipment Surplus and Storage Ltd (UES&S) site was to be sold on the open market.
An MOD spokesperson said: “Following several site inspections, we have not found or been shown any sensitive equipment at this site.
“All our contractors follow strict security regulations when storing military equipment, and we have no reason to believe this has been breached.”
The former UES&S premises stored equipment on behalf of Leonardo, an Italian defence company, and its clients, which include the British Army and Royal Navy.
Last year, UES&S went into liquidation and the Times has reported, as a result, large quantities of military equipment now sits in the north Norfolk barn.
The newspaper states that parts from helicopter defence systems and a radio jammer for improvised explosive devices are among items due to be auctioned.
The MOD Police, DE&S Security Team, Defence Land Safety Regulator and Leonardo have all visited UES&S’s Norfolk site.
An MOD spokesman said they have also made several visits to Leonardo to understand its disposal processes, and have found that material is being disposed of safely and securely and in accordance with HMG policy.
North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb is expected to raise the issue in the House of Commons.
Mr Lamb told the Times: “We need to know what conclusion they have reached as to whether Leonardo have breached regulations on the disposal of highly sensitive military components.”
Lord West of Spithead, a former head of the Royal Navy, has tabled a question in the House of Lords on Wednesday, January 30 to discuss concerns about the site.
Lord West, who has said that hostile countries or terrorists could take the equipment apart to learn how it works, wanted to know what the government was doing about it. He questioned whether UES&S had clearance to have been passed the equipment by Leonardo.
The entire contents of the warehouse are being put up for sale on February 6.
An open day for buyers has been held, with another scheduled.