THE Defence Committee has been told the SAS, near Hereford, is too busy to entertain a visit by MPs.

Defence Committee chair Tobias Ellwood MP has been pressing for a visit to the SAS headquarters in Credenhill, near Hereford, since before the Ukraine war broke out, a meeting on November 2 heard.

But those requests have been refused, with Defence Secretary Ben Wallace saying the SAS is too busy for visits at the moment.


In a heated debate earlier this month, Mr Ellwood said: "Hereford is an important aspect of what we do. We are very proud of what we do there and we are arguably the best in the world, but it is not above scrutiny or accountability, which is what this Committee provides."

Mr Wallace replied: "The answer is no, chairman."

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He also said how the committee does not have oversight of the Special Forces, but later clarified: "I want to make clear the difference between oversight of the Armed Forces and oversight of the operations of the special forces, which is a different thing."

Mr Wallace said that the SAS is "incredibly busy on operational work" and thought "this moment it is not appropriate for the committee to visit".


Kevan Jones MP said the committee had previously visited special forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, actually flying out of Baghdad on SAS transport.

Mr Wallace said he would "see what he could do" about allowing the committee to visit the camp at Credenhill.