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Southampton MP John Denham calls for answers after Princess of Wales Royal Regiment were put up in a car park during London 2012
AN MP has demanded answers about why Hampshire troops were forced to sleep in an underground car park while they provided security at the Olympics .
As exclusively revealed in the Daily Echo, soldiers from the 1st Battalion Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (1PWRR) were billeted on cramped military beds in a multi-storey while they guarded the Games.
Troops from the battalion – which is known as the Tigers – had been drafted in at the last minute, after a gruelling tour in Afghanistan, when private security firm G4S admitted it did not have the manpower to fulfil its contract for the Olympics.
Now Southampton Itchen MP John Denham has written to the Home Select Committee calling for questions to be asked about the accommodation during the investigation it is holding into Olympics security.
In his letter Mr Denham wrote: “The Tigers have served bravely in Afghanistan and never once have I heard any complaint about the exceptionally difficult condition under which they have served.
“But when our troops are asked to protect the public in the centre of one of the greatest and richest cities in the world it does seem extraordinary that they could have not have been given better accommodation.”
Mr Denham added: “The decision to deploy the troops was described as part of a contingency plan, but if there was a plan, why did it not include decent accommodation?”
In total, 17,500 troops were drafted in to provide security at the Games and accommodation ranged from disused shopping centres to empty warehouses.
One parent of a soldier from the Tigers branded the car park accommodation “disgusting” and another told the Daily Echo that “prisoners are treated better”.
At the time, the Army said it was doing all it could to make the experience more comfortable for the troops.
A spokesman said: “Since the uplift in the military contribution we have been working hard to ensure that our armed forces, who are of course used to living in austere conditions on operations, are accommodated appropriately and as comfortable as possible, with access to sufficient rest and recreational facilities.”
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