Missing Gosport sailor’s family blast British response

HAPPY TIMES Timmy MacColl and his wife Rachael
HAPPY TIMES Timmy MacColl and his wife Rachael

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BRITISH authorities are not doing enough to find the missing Gosport sailor Timmy MacColl, his frustrated family have claimed.

Relatives of the 27-year-old dad-of-two, who disappeared in Dubai on May 27, yesterday urged the MoD and the Foreign Office to step up their involvement in the case.

And they have called on Hampshire Constabulary to launch its own investigation amid growing concerns over the lack of progress being made by police in Dubai.

It comes as an online petition calling for Timmy’s case to be debated in Parliament had attracted more than 2,000 signatures by last night.

Jim Cunningham, who is the grandfather of Timmy’s pregnant wife, Rachael, told The News: ‘The MoD have let the family down pretty poorly – as has the Foreign Office.

‘There is inaction, complacency, and I would go as far as to say ineptitude on their part. For a start, they need to communicate with the family and say what it is they are doing, what they are trying to do, and what they have achieved so far. They have done none of this. We feel like we are being given the brush off at every turn.’

Timmy’s family are becoming increasingly frustrated with the UK government.

The petition follows anger that the Royal Navy blocked Timmy’s HMS Westminster shipmates from wearing yellow ribbons to pay tribute to him when the warship returned to Portsmouth without him on Monday.

Rachael’s grandmother, Brenda Cunningham, said there was a ‘wall of silence’.

Writing on petitioning website, change.org, she said: ‘Timmy has been badly let down by all involved. He is a serviceman, serving Queen and Country, and his family have not been updated properly...We need to know far more and Timmy has a right to be brought home.’

The MoD yesterday strongly defended its response to Timmy’s disappearance.

A spokesman said Rachael has three liaison officers available to her 24 hours a day, adding: ‘The Dubai Police – and not the Royal Navy Police – have primacy for the investigation into LS MacColl’s disappearance and search.

‘The MoD and RN continue to liaise with and provide assistance to the Dubai authorities.’

A Foreign Office spokesman claimed it was unable to search for missing people overseas and said: ‘We have remained in contact with the Dubai authorities about their ongoing investigation and continue to pass any updates to LS MacColl’s family.’

A spokeswoman for Hampshire Constabulary said the force has no jurisdiction in Dubai, but had been helping Royal Navy police with its inquires and was ‘satisfied with its procedures.’