TAUNTON Deane MP Rebecca Pow has met with the Defence Secretary to put the case for retaining Marines in Taunton.

Rebecca Pow met with Gavin Williamson and welcomed the Government’s commitment to keeping the UK’s two amphibious ships, HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark.

Secretary of State Williamson said the two ships were crucial to preserving the ‘punch’ of the Royal Marines, the UK’s elite commando force.

Ms Pow said: “I am delighted that our amphibious capability will be protected given the crucial assistance they provide in humanitarian efforts as well as the flexibility they provide in military situations.

"I have had many conversations with the Secretary of State for Defence on this issue and I am delighted that this decision has been taken."

Last year, it was announced the 40 Commando base at Norton Fitzwarren would close by 2028, with the land to be sold off for development.

The move has prompted several campaigns to keep the base.

Ms Pow added: "I have and will always continue to work hard to ensure the Secretary of State for Defence is fully aware of the versatile role our Marines play and the key role they play in local life.

"Speaking to him just this week I made it quite clear that 40 Commando should remain based in Taunton Deane."