I recently met Mr Des James of Llanymynech for the first time. Mr James is the father of Cheryl James, who was one of the four young soldiers who died at Deepcut Barracks 16 years ago in 'unclear' circumstances. Mr James is also one of my constituents. We met at the Ministry of Defence, where I accompanied him at a meeting with the Armed Forces Minister, Nick Harvey. I cannot divulge anything of what was said at our long meeting, except that I was deeply impressed by the passion and belief evident in Des James' presentation of his concerns about the circumstances surrounding his daughter's death..
But I can comment on today's BBC high profile coverage of a report by Devon and Cornwall Police about their investigation into the way Surrey Police dealt with the deaths of the four young people at Deepcut barracks. Its deeply concerning. The report said (according to the BBC) that Surrey Police did not properly consider a list of hypothetical suspects, even though they claimed to have considered all possibilities for the deaths. The review believes (again according to the BBC) that insufficient investigative work took place to identify an unknown male who could have been responsible for Cheryl's death. And a recently retired detective from the Surrey Force is reported to have said "....at the time there was another clear message from above 'These were suicides weren't they, and that is where you are going to end up, and that's what you will end up proving."
It is absolutely no surprise to me that Mr Des James is calling for a public enquiry.