Plea to name carrier HMS Colchester

A CAMPAIGN has begun to name one of the Royal Navy's future capital warships after Britain's lading Army garrison town.There have been navy vessels named HMS Colchester in the past, but now Kevin Bentley, the town's Conservative Parliamentary candidate, has launched an audacious bid to persuade the Ministry of Defence's Warship Names Committee to consider Colchester for one of two future aircraft carriers.

By Graham Dines

A CAMPAIGN has begun to name one of the Royal Navy's future capital warships after Britain's lading Army garrison town.

There have been navy vessels named HMS Colchester in the past, but now Kevin Bentley, the town's Conservative Parliamentary candidate, has launched an audacious bid to persuade the Ministry of Defence's Warship Names Committee to consider Colchester for one of two future aircraft carriers.

"Colchester is a proud Army town. But that should not preclude us being put firmly on the map by having one of the Fleet's new carriers having the town's name," said Mr Bentley, who has received cross-part backing for the plan.


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However, the MoD is unlikely to look favourably on the suggestion. There is already a class of destroyer with regional names such as Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Southampton and Birmingham, while capital ships - aircraft carriers and nuclear weapon submarines - invariably carry proud centuries old RN names such as Invincible, Ark Royal, Nelson, Rodney, Resolution, Revenge and Victorious.

PAUL Bristow, who is West Suffolk MP Richard Spring's House of Commons researcher, has been elected national chairman of Conservative Future, the successor organisation to the Young Conservatives.

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Mr Bristow, who is 24, comes from Peterborough and was agent in the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham at last year's council elections,

"Conservative Future is very good at campaigning and arranging social functions. My aim in the next two years is to turn it into a major political force within the party," he said yesterday.

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