A north-east MSP has urged police chiefs to reward the first officers on the scene of last month’s fatal derailment for their bravery.
Liam Kerr – who is the Scottish Conservatives’ shadow justice secretary at Holyrood – said PC Liam Mercer and PC Eilidh McCabe should receive awards.
The pair were among the first to respond when the ScotRail service from Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street derailed near Stonehaven, leaving three men dead in the worst disaster on Scotland’s railway for three decades.
He has now called on transport secretary Michael Matheson to write to Police Scotland’s chief constable recommending honours for the pair.
Mr Kerr said: “In harrowing and tragic circumstances, the railway family and all our emergency services were challenged in the extreme that day and beyond and their commitment and courage has been rightly noted.
“Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State for Transport met officer Liam Mercer who was one of the first on the scene and I understand intends to write to the chief constable recommending a commendation for his bravery and that of PC Eilidh McCabe.
“Would the cabinet secretary consider writing to the chief constable in support of that recommendation?”
In his reply, Michael Matheson said: “I’m very conscious of the very significant efforts they have all made in responding to this incident and the heroic nature of the way in which they went about dealing with what was a very complex and tragic event in itself.”
Mr Kerr praised all of the emergency services for their work in dealing with the incident.
He added: “PC Mercer and PC McCabe’s rapid response highlighted extreme bravery, putting themselves at risk for the protection of others along with their colleagues.
“Both deserve commendations for their swift actions in being the first at the scene during such a traumatic and tragic incident.
“My thoughts remain with the three people who died, their families and with those who were on the train and are still recovering.
“This incident was another illustration of the value all our emergency services have across our communities and my thanks go to all sectors.”