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Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the average number of insurgent attacks in Multinational Division South East is for each month since January 2005; where they have occurred; and if he will make a statement; 
John Reid: The total number of attacks in Multinational Division (South East) since January 2005 is 562 making the monthly average 46.8. We assess that 115 have been caused by improvised explosive devices. This makes the monthly average 9.5.
Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the infiltration by sectarian militias of (a) the Interior Ministry and (b) defence forces in Iraq. 
Mr. Ingram: Ethnic, religious and tribal loyalties are widespread within Iraqi society. Part of the reform and democratisation process of Iraqi institutions is the removal of those individuals whose loyalties are not to the state. The performance of the Iraqi Interior and Defence Ministries and of the Iraqi Security Forces will be important factors in determining the rate of transfer to Iraqi control of security and we continue to make detailed capability assessments of the Iraqi Security Forces within the UK area of responsibility.
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British soldiers have been wounded in Iraq; how many were returned home as a result of their injuries; and whether his Department keeps records of their geographical location in the UK when they return. 
Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel in Iraq were wounded in (a) action and (b) accidents in each year since hostilities began, broken down by severity of injury. 
John Reid: [holding answers 20 December 2005 and 26 January 2006]: Centrally available records show that some 230 UK personnel have been treated at UK medical facilities in theatre for wounds received as a result of hostile action between March 2003 and December 2005 1 .
Our Notification of Casualty reporting records also allow us to give a figure for those categorised in theatre as Very Seriously Ill/Injured/Wounded (VSI), meaning that their life was imminently endangered. Some 40 personnel were categorised as VSI as a result of injury or wounds, however caused, in Iraq between March 2003 and December 2005 2 .
Separate records show that between February 2003 and December 2005 some 4,000 military and civilian personnel (including a few Iraqis) have been medically
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evacuated from theatre. The great majority of cases were due to illness or accidental injury and not as a result of hostile action.
The MOD intends to publish casualty figures for Iraq on the MOD website in the next few weeks, identifying the number of personnel categorised as Seriously Injured" and Very Seriously Injured". The figures will be updated regularly. I will write to inform the hon. and right hon. Members prior to the first publication.
The Ministry of Defence keeps records of all armed forces personnel currently serving and where they are located. The Veterans Agency maintains up to date records of those troops that have been medically discharged in order to pay their medical pensions.
1 Before October 2004, we only have centrally held records for the Shaibah UK Field Hospital. The figure does not include, for example, UK casualties of hostile action who were treated either by other UK Field Hospitals (early stages of operation onlyfor which unit records are not held centrally) or by coalition partners, or those with more minor injuries who did not receive Field Hospital treatment. From October 2004, the figure relates to all those wounded who were treated in any of the UK medical facilities in the UK-led Multi-National Division South East MND(SE) area. This figure excludes any personnel who subsequently died.
2 The VSI figure excludes any personnel who subsequently died.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many personnel are eligible for the Iraq service medal; how many medals have been awarded to date; and what the average time taken has been to award the medal; 
Mr. Touhig: The information is not held in the format requested, however, as at 20 January 2006 there have been 99,839 applications for the Iraq medal received from armed forces personnel of which 97,006 have been awarded. The current average waiting time from application to issue is three months.
[holding answer 19 January 2006]: The purpose of the Special (or Golden) Share in Qinetiq is solely to protect UK defence or security interests. The Ministry of Defence has held a Special Share in the Company for this purpose from the time of the Public Private Partnership Transaction with the Carlyle Group in 2003. The Government consider it necessary to retain this Special Share after the Initial Public Offering, adapted as necessary to reflect the new corporate structure of the Company.
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As is the case in any institutional offer, members of the public may apply for shares through a private client stockbroker, although there will be no allocation of shares reserved for that purpose. Members of the public will also be able to buy shares in Qinetiq once trading has commenced. The cost to the taxpayer of any special arrangement would be between £5 million and £23 million and based on advice from our financial advisers and it is the Government's view that inclusion of a retail offer in this way would not offer value for money for the taxpayer.
John Reid [holding answer 19 January 2006]: As is the case in any institutional offer, members of the public may apply for shares through a private client stockbroker, although there will be no allocation of shares reserved for that purpose. Members of the public will also be able to buy shares in Qinetiq once trading has commenced. The cost to the taxpayer of making particular and special provision, based on previous experience, would be between £5 million and £23 million and based on advice from our financial advisers, it is the Government's view that inclusion of a retail offer in this way would not offer value for money for the taxpayer.
John Reid [holding answer 19 January 2006]: The flotation of Qinetiq is the logical next step in the Public Private Partnership (PPP) for Defence Research announced in the 1998 Strategic Defence Review. The aims of the PPP were to strengthen the linkages between defence and civil technologies, encourage the commercial exploitation of the taxpayers' investment in science and technology, and create a sustainable future for DERA and its staff whilst retaining within Government (the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory) those functions not appropriate to the private sector. The Government, informed by the advice of its professional advisers, believes that an Initial Public Offering (IPO) now provides the best route for Qinetiq further to develop its excellence as a supplier of advanced technology in a global market. Following the IPO, the MOD will continue to retain a significant stake in the company, and a Special Share to protect the United Kingdom's defence and security interests in Qinetiq.
John Reid: The National Audit Office announced on 26 January that it would carry out a study into the Qinetiq Public Private Partnership. The study will include consideration of the sale to Carlyle, which took place in February 2003.
It is routine for the NAO to look at complex PPP transactions of this sort and it would have been very surprising if it had not wished to examine the Qinetiq privatisation. The MOD welcomes its involvement and looks forward to co-operating fully with their work.
John Reid: The special share that the Ministry of Defence presently holds in Qinetiq will be retained after the flotation of the company, to protect UK defence or security interests, as at present. Along with the principal agreement, the special share gives MOD the ability, among other things, to:
Further detail of the rights conferred to MOD by the special share is available in the Qinetiq sale prospectus, a copy of which was placed in the Library of the House on 26 January 2006. This includes detailed summaries of the rights (pp.150 and 212), detail of restrictions on shareholdings (pp.17 and 55), and fuller details of the special share on pp. 244247.
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