I have tabled a Parliamentary Question to ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration have Ministers given to mitigating the security issues surrounding the location in St Pancras of the UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation and its laboratories that will be working with highly dangerous viruses?
This follows reports that:
“One of Britain’s leading bio-scientists .. [has] .. voiced fears over the safety of a £600 million virus “superlab” planned for St Pancras.
Professor Guy Dodson, who has worked at Oxford University, warned that the 14-storey, maximum security site containing viruses including malaria, tuberculosis, bird and swine flu, cancer cells and HIV would need to be “bulletproof”.”
UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation is to be built in London on the redeveloped St Pancras site. In principle, this is excellent news. However, the laboratory could be a magnet for terrorists.
As Guy Dodson comments:
“The issues are if you have an earthquake, some idiot lets a bomb off or there’s a fire at St Pancras International.
“These are extreme examples but you don’t want that building to suffer a serious knockabout when you’ve got this material in there.
“The unspoken concern is terrorism because it’s a natural target. We need to know the capacity they have for dealing with the unexpected.”
The plans have been approved by Mayor Boris Johnson – so that’s all right then ……