Apology to families of soldiers killed in Iraq while using Snatch Land Rovers

Updated: 

The Defence Secretary has apologised to the families of British soldiers killed in Iraq while travelling in lightly armoured Snatch Land Rovers.

Sir Michael Fallon wrote to a number of families apologising for delays in bringing in alternative protected vehicles "which could have saved lives".

At least 37 UK soldiers died in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan while travelling in Snatch Land Rovers, with last year's Chilcot Inquiry heavily critical of delays in replacing them.

"I am fully aware of the struggle you have had to bring this matter to court over the last decade and I recognise this has had a significant impact on you and your family," Sir Michael wrote in his letter to the families.

"The Government entirely accepts the findings of Sir John Chilcot in the Iraq Inquiry in relation to Snatch Land Rover.

"I would like to express directly to you my deepest sympathies and apologise for the delay, resulting from the decisions taken at the time in bringing into service alternative protected vehicles which could have saved lives.

"I confirm that we have learnt lessons from this.

"The Government must and will ensure that our Armed Forces are always properly equipped and resourced."