FORMER Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called on the Ministry of Defence to halt the "scandal" over the clean-up of a beach polluted by radiation after a report blamed it for the contamination.

Mr Brown has been campaigning in his constituency for action at Dalgety Bay, Fife, following the discovery of radioactive particles and high-activity radiation.

An investigation by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has for the first time blamed the MoD.

Sepa's investigation discovered the MoD deposited a large amount of ash and clinker from contaminated aircraft on the coast at Dalgety Bay, which has resulted in the radioactive sources, before the town was developed and has named the Government department in its "Appropriate Persons" report.

It said significant amounts of material remain buried on the coast, but erosion continued to release contamination.

The MoD said it has concerns over the "adequacy and validity" of Sepa's approach to the report.

Mr Brown said: "It is a scandal if the MoD refuses to accept responsibility for cleaning up Dalgety Bay once and for all.

"Sepa's report makes clear the MoD accepted as long ago as 1990 that as many as 800 radiation-contaminated aircraft were dumped at the site. The residents of Dalgety Bay have waited too long. The clean-up must begin immediately."

Mr Brown has called parliamentary debates on the issue. He said: "Having been named as the polluter, the Ministry of Defence must now agree to fund the clean-up to remove the contaminated substances from the Dalgety Bay beach and the work must start immediately.

"I understand the MoD is saying it has concerns over the adequacy and validity of the exercise which has named it as the polluter. In my view, the MoD is merely delaying the inevitable."

SNP MSP Annabelle Ewing said: "We always knew the MoD was responsible for the pollution at Dalgety Bay and these conclusions from the Sepa investigation reinforce this knowledge.

"There can be no more excuses from the MoD – we need it to fund and carry out an immediate clean-up at Dalgety.

"Pleas from residents, politicians, environmentalists and Sepa have fallen on deaf ears before, but we cannot continue down that route."

An MoD spokesman said: "The MoD will consider the report findings in detail and respond to Sepa in due course, but has concerns over the validity of both Sepa's risk assessment and its approach to the Appropriate Persons report.

"MoD has demonstrated a serious commitment to voluntarily assisting Sepa, the Scottish Government and the Dalgety Bay Forum in dealing with the situation at Dalgety Bay." It quoted Public Health England as assessing the risk to health on the beach as low.

It will consider the report's findings in detail and respond to Sepa in due course, it said, but "has concerns over the adequacy and validity of Sepa's risk assessment", adding: "We will seek an early meeting with Sepa at senior official level to raise these concerns and discuss the way forward."