'˜No hope' in last-gasp plan to save HMS Illustrious

HUNDREDS of people have backed a fresh call for the MoD to save the former HMS Illustrious from the scrapheap.

Tuesday, 27th December 2016, 10:38 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:20 pm
The former HMS Illustrious leaving Portsmouth for the final time Picture: Sarah Standing (161622-8242)

It comes as the Invincible-class carrier is today due to arrive at her final destination at a Turkish breakers yard, where she will be ripped apart.

The 11th-hour petition to save the ageing aircraft carrier from being turned into razor blades, pots and pans has been backed by more than 200 people.

It has called on the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to reverse the move, saying a consortium is still negotiating with defence chiefs to turn the 22,000-tonne former flagship into a museum or heritage site.

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However, a similar £15m bid issued in November was snubbed by ministry bosses, who claimed it would be too expensive to achieve.

The move sparked fury among Royal Navy veterans.

But speaking at the time, defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon said there was no hope of resurrecting the iconic vessel, nicknamed Lusty.

He said: ‘We searched for two years to see if there was an alternative use for HMS Illustrious, which played a great part in our Royal Navy. But no viable bid came forward.

Lusty was towed out of Portsmouth Harbour on Wednesday, December 7.