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PLANNING UNDER ATTACK

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Emergency planning in the United Kingdom is in disarray, according to shadow home secretary Oliver Letwin....
Emergency planning in the United Kingdom is in disarray, according to shadow home secretary Oliver Letwin.

He said there is a lack of co-ordination over how to deal with mass contamination and reiterated calls for a senior minister specifically appointed to co-ordinate plans to deal with a terrorist attack.

Mr Letwin said: 'It is clear Whitehall does not have the basic information about the number of emergency staff trained to deal with terrorist incidents.'

His criticisms follow a leaked Cabinet Office e-mail asking how councils intend to cope with a large-scale emergency.

Referring to the e-mail, Mr Letwin said: 'This document is extremely disturbing. It suggests that the government's plans for dealing with a major terrorist incident are amateurish and disorganised and remarkably little has been done since the 11 September attacks.'

His comments echo complaints from some councils' emergency planning chiefs that little is being done to co-ordinate the approach to any terrorist threat.

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