Kerr’s RNLI Commons plea

Election Husting at Duns Parish Church for the Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk seat. 'SNP candidate Calum Kerr
Election Husting at Duns Parish Church for the Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk seat. 'SNP candidate Calum Kerr

Berwickshire’s SNP MP, Calum Kerr, has lodged an early day motion in the House of Commons urging the RNLI to rethink the decision to close the charity’s lifeboat station at St Abbs.

The motion has been supported by 18 of Mr Kerr’s SNP colleagues.

It reads: “That this House supports the campaign to save the St Abbs lifeboat in Berwickshire from closure; notes that St Abbs is the largest diving area in the UK and that there is a risk that the removal of a locally-based lifeboat able to respond to incidents rapidly will discourage recreational visitors in particular; recognises that the retention of a lifeboat in this very busy and popular location for diving is a matter of public safety; and urges the Royal National Lifeboat Institution to fulfil its priority mission of saving lives at sea by reversing this unpopular decision.”

Although an early day motion (or EDM) places an issue or point in the parliamentary record, it rarely means that MPs gather in the Commons to debate it.

Mr Kerr’s reservations about the RNLI’s decision were echoed last week by John Lamont, local Conservative MSP. Mr Lamont took to Facebook to decry the Scottish Government for “saying this is a matter for the RNLI alone,” which he added “isn’t good enough”.

The RNLI have said they will not reconsider their decision, and that their service will continue to provide cover on the Berwickshire coast.