A commons select committee chairwoman has drawn swords over an arrogant government kamikaze cuts plan to shut two search-and-rescue helicopter bases which could cost lives.
Transport committee chairwoman Louise Ellman said she was "surprised and disappointed" about proposals to axe the services at Portland in Dorset and at RAF Boulmer in Northumberland.
Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside Ms Ellman said in a letter to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin the closures "may cost lives."
She wrote: "People rightly expect that the government will listen to their views and concerns, taking them into account before major decisions are reached.
"This has not happened with the planned closure of the helicopter bases at RAF Boulmer and Portland, despite compelling arguments that these closures may cost lives.
"It is not too late for the government to consult and, if necessary, to change their proposals before the new contract is let."
South Dorset MP Richard Drax said the Portland plan was "sheer folly" earlier this week and called for a rethink of the proposals to axe the coastguard helicopter in 2017 after the station has shut.
He said: "Not only will lives be lost if it goes, but the cost analysis doesn't actually add up. For example each death is about £1.7 million.
"So we need to save about two lives - the helicopter costing between £4m and £5m to keep there for 12 hours a day - to make sure this pays its way.
"And when you think how many times the helicopter is called and lives are saved, it's a no-brainer."
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