Ingram heralds independent army bullying watchdog
AN INDEPENDENT watchdog will oversee concerns about bullying and harassment in the military following the Deepcut controversy, it emerged yesterday.
Adam Ingram, the armed forces minister, said the new Service Complaints Commissioner could refer allegations from personnel or their relatives up the chain of command or straight to ministers.
But his announcement, made in response to Nicholas Blake QC's inquiry into the deaths of four young recruits at the Deepcut army barracks in Surrey, stopped short of installing a fully independent ombudsman. This, he said, would undermine the "chain of command".
Meanwhile, Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, came under fire from victims' families and MPs after he suggested that of the four dead, two had histories of harming themselves and another was about to be forced to leave the army.
Yvonne Collinson, mother of James Collinson - the Scot who died age 17 from gunshot wounds in 2002, denied her son had any history of self-harm.
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