A debate in Parliament last week (29th January) has highlighted a number of concerns relating to the proposed recovery of artefacts from the HMS Victory. Shadow Defence Minister, Labour MP Kevan Jones, used an Adjournment Debate to raise a number of significant questions regarding legitimacy of the Government’s transfer of the wreck to the Marine Heritage Foundation (MHO), the lack of scrutiny and due process that has apparently accompanied the transfer, the veracity of a number of statements about the site and the proposed project made by the MHO (and others), and the role of US salvage company Odyssey Marine Exploration in the project.
The full text of the debate, the questions raised by Mr. Jones and the response to those questions given by ED Vaizey, the Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy, can be accessed here:
And the full debate from which the text above is taken can be viewed here (with some scrolling to near the end of the session at 17:00):
Rescue is pleased to note that the many continuous issues apparent with the proposed HMS Victory investigation project, the transfer of the wreck to the MHO, and in the way that the project has been conducted thus far by HM Government, have been raised properly within the House and that hopefully proper disclosure will result. An ongoing Judicial Review into the project and the process, about which Rescue has been contacted by both the plaintiff and Odyssey Marine Exploration, means that our full comment on this situation will have to wait until a legal resolution has been reached. However, suffice it to say that we look forward to the publication of the responses to Mr Jones’ questions by the various Government Departments with some anticipation.