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FOX One of the upsides of a long parliamentary recess is that the Government and its MPs are not busily passing more and more new laws to impinge upon our lives.

But the serious downside is that MPs, especially those from the Opposition, do not have the regular opportunity through oral and written questions, as well as debates, to hold the Government to account.

This is all the more serious as is the case right now when British forces are deployed on active service overseas.

So today, and not for the first time this recess (and we are only in week five) shadow defence secretary Liam Fox has had to resort to writing letters to his opposite number to elicit information.

Dr Fox has just writen to Bob Ainsworth asking:

“In light of what you said yesterday on the Andrew Marr show, that British troops will eventually begin undertaking a training and mentoring role to the Afghan National Army, and on top of the several enquires made by my team and me regarding the future role of British forces as mentioned in the Prime Minister's statement on 29 April, could you now use this opportunity to expand on your comments and those of the Prime Minster.

“On a separate matter, I'm sure you appreciate that during parliamentary recess my ability to ask written questions is limited. Consequently, I was wondering if you would tell me how many members of the Armed Forces are trained to drive Mastiff and Ridgback vehicles as of 17 August 2009? How long it takes to train a driver for each? Finally, if the training for Ridgback is shorter for those who have already been qualified to drive Mastiffs?”

Cick here to download his letter in full.

Jonathan Isaby

7 comments for: The long recess means Liam Fox again has to resort to letter-writing in place of asking parliamentary questions about Afghanistan

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