Home at last: Peter Moore returms to Britain

Freed hostage Peter Moore arrived at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire today following his two-and-a-half-year kidnap ordeal in Iraq.

The 36-year-old computer expert, from Lincoln, touched down at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire shortly after 5pm.

Mr Moore was seized with his four British bodyguards by militants posing as police at Baghdad's finance ministry in May 2007.

Mr Moore's return to the UK was veiled in secrecy following a request for privacy from his family.

He spent a quiet New Year's Eve at the Baghdad embassy before boarding his UK-bound flight.

His family are believed to have asked for a "period of decompression", enabling Mr Moore to ease gently back into public life.

He was finally released from captivity on Wednesday following lengthy negotiations.

The bodies of three of his bodyguards - Alec MacLachlan, 30, from Llanelli, South Wales, Jason Swindlehurst, 38, from Skelmersdale, Lancashire, and Jason Creswell, 39, originally from Glasgow - were passed to UK authorities last year.

A fourth bodyguard, Alan McMenemy, 34, from Glasgow, is also believed to have been killed.

Mr Moore touched down in a Challenger executive jet at Bay 15 of the RAF base.

He had stopped off in Amman, Jordan, before making the six-hour journey home on board the civilian plane.

Flight lieutenant Mark Concarr boarded the plane to carry out routine checks before Mr Moore was welcomed back by Foreign Office official Lesley Beaton. Within minutes of touching down, Mr Moore stepped off the plane into the wintry British air wearing a blue fleece top, cream trousers and a cap. He shook hands with a flight engineer as he left peering out from underneath his cap.

He then boarded a people carrier flanked by officials to be reunited with his family at an undisclosed location.

Mrs Beaton said: "My job is to look after his welfare. The key is to reunite him with his family. The family are aware that there is intense media interest. We will be talking to them."

In a statement issued by the Foreign Office, Mr Moore's step-parents Fran and Pauline Sweeney said: "We are thrilled to have Peter back safely. We have a lot of catching up to do and would like to have time with Peter on our own. We would now ask the media to give us space and privacy."

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "Peter was met by Foreign Office staff and will be reunited with his family later. Peter and his family have asked for privacy at this time."

Mr Moore's father, Graeme, said: "We are glad he's home. Of course we are not with him and we are not able to talk to him but we are absolutely delighted.

"I want to give him a big hug when I see him but he will probably shove me through the wall, looking at the size of him.

"Me and his friends can't wait to see him and it's just a massive relief to get him home."

Mr Moore's father, who has been critical of the Government's handling of the case, claimed he had been "fully vindicated", adding: "We've always said that we would get Pete out regardless of the Foreign Office."

He added: "Once he gets out, his friends will tell him the truth about what has gone on."

Mr Moore's safe return comes as families of the hostages continued to question the role the Government had played in securing their release.

Earlier today, Graeme Moore claimed secret talks were held between American negotiators and his son's captors without the British Government's knowledge.

The 60-year-old said a source in the country texted him a month ago, saying the Americans were talking to his son's kidnappers about the release of Qais al-Khazali.

The leader of Asaib al-Haq, or the League of Righteousness, was transferred from US to Iraqi custody shortly before the release of Mr Moore.

The news prompted speculation of a prisoner exchange deal, since denied by the Foreign Office.

A spokesman said: "The United States transferred Qais al-Khazali to government of Iraq custody under the two countries' Status of Forces Agreement (Sofa).

Suggested Topics
News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
Louis van Gaal at the Hawthorns prior to Manchester United's game against West Brom
football

Follow the latest updates from the Monday night Premier League fixture

News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Concerns raised phenomenon is threatening resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 5 Teacher

£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...

Software Developer

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...

Systems Analyst / Business Analyst - Central London

£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...

Senior Change Engineer (Network, Cisco, Juniper) £30k

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past