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Farage shows his naivety: NI war hero MLA Beattie slams SAS Tube proposal

By Michael Sheils McNamee

Northern Irish soldier and war veteran Doug Beattie has hit out at the suggestion that the SAS could be deployed to the London Underground to combat potential terrorist attacks.

A story published by a number of websites - including the Sun, the Metro and the Mail Online - based off a report in the Daily Star on Sunday, claims that the UK's Special Forces (specifically personnel from the SAS) would be deployed to the London Underground with the purpose of monitoring suspicious passengers.

A link to the Sun's story was tweeted by former leader of UKIP Nigel Farage, with the statement: "If the police are under-resourced then the SAS are welcome. We have no choice."

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, UUP MLA Beattie said: "There is a fair degree of people not understanding what are called Tier One Special Forces.

"What Tier One Special Forces are going to be used for in relation to incidents like this in the UK, in relation to incidents like in Manchester, like in London, they will be part of intelligence-led operations with specialised tasks which will include direct action and disruption of terrorist attacks.

"What they will not be used for is wandering aimlessly around Tube stations."

Mr Beattie made the point that there are around 350 serving members of the SAS that are posted around the world, and according to Transport for London, around 5 million passenger journeys are made each day.

"It is just a stupid call from Farage, it just shows his absolute naivety in what he is talking about," Mr Beattie said.

"It makes no sense to have our Tier One and Tier Two services working as armed ticket collectors."

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