Scotland’s First Minister has registered his concern over the case of Jamie Taggart, the botanist who has been missing in Vietnam since November.
Alex Salmond has confirmed to Jamie’s cousin Jane White that after a request from the family the Scottish Government has registered its interest in the case with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
And he has also contacted Foreign Secretary William Hague, highlighting the issue and asking whether the UK authorities can do anything more to help the search.
Jamie (42), of Linn Gardens in Cove, disappeared more than nine months ago while on a plant-hunting expedition in the Hoang Lien National Park in northern Vietnam, but his family did not know anything was wrong until four weeks afterwards, when he failed to return home.
His father Dr Jim Taggart has attacked the FCO response as ‘embarrassing’ and his mother Jill has been in touch with Minister of State Hugo Swire about the role of the British Embassy in Hanoi.
Mr Salmond’s letter states: “I do hope that this offers some reassurance to Mr Taggart’s family that this case is taken extremely seriously. We will continue to monitor the case and liaise with the Foreign and Commonweath Office.
“My thoughts are with Mr Taggart’s family at this time and I hope that news will be forthcoming.”
The community in Cove and Kilcreggan has raised thousands of pounds to help the search for Jamie, with a substantial donation also being made by actor Hugh Grant, whose family used to live at the Linn.
A succession of search teams have combed the mountainous area near Sapa where the volunteer firefighter went missing, but no trace of him has been found.
The FCO say they have have been providing consular assistance to James’ family since being made aware of his disappearance on November 29 and have provided them with all information supplied by the Vietnamese authorities.