Gaddafi Killed: Philip Hammond Says UK Firms Should 'Pack Their Suitcases' For Libya
New defence secretary Philip Hammond has delivered a rallying cry to British businesses saying they should be "packing their suitcases" to help rebuild Libya following the death of Colonel Gaddafi, as he declared the campaign "pretty much complete".
"Of course I would expect British companies to be, even today, British sales directors, practically packing their suitcases and looking to get out to Libya and take part in the reconstruction of that company as soon as they can."
"I pay tribute to both of them; their absolute determination to push this through, to do what was the right thing to do to protect the Libyan people, and to do it in the way they did it has been completely vindicated by this outcome", he told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme.
Hammond said Nato were considering ending air strikes, saying that the £300m mission was "pretty much complete" but advised caution, adding "it's a brave man that says there isn't some little pocket somewhere, of resistance that couldn't still cause a problem".
Gaddafi, was captured alive by troops of the National Transitional Council (NTC) following a Nato air strike on a convoy outside his hometown of Sirte and dragged through the streets by his jubilant captors.
"I think today is a day to remember all of Colonel Gaddafi's victims, from those who died in connection with the Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, to Yvonne Fletcher in a London street, and obviously all the victims of IRA terrorism who died through their use of Libyan Semtex. We should also remember the many, many Libyans who died at the hands of this brutal dictator and his regime.
"People in Libya today have an even greater chance after this news of building themselves a strong and democratic future. I'm proud of the role that Britain has played in helping them to bring that about and I pay tribute to the bravery of the Libyans who've helped to liberate their country. We will help them, we will work with them, and that is what I want to say today."
Labour leader Ed Miliband also said Gaddafi's death marked the end of a period of "brutality and repression".
"I pay tribute to the Libyan people for standing up to the former regime and seeking to define their own democratic destiny. We should be proud of the support that our armed forces have given to that cause.
"We should all hope that this day also marks the end of the armed conflict and the start of a period of stability where we see a transition to democratic government.
"Britain should stand ready to continue to help the National Transitional Council as it seeks to improve economic and social conditions, ensure order and prepare for elections," he said in a statement released on Thursday.