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Colchester/ Westminster: Prime Minister blasted by MP over defence cuts

14:25 26 February 2014

The Pegasus Club at Colchester Garrison was officially opened by Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell Friday 31 May. Pictured with Colonel Mike Newman, Colchester Garrison Commander,

The Pegasus Club at Colchester Garrison was officially opened by Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell Friday 31 May. Pictured with Colonel Mike Newman, Colchester Garrison Commander,

Archant

Colchester MP Bob Russell blasted the prime minister for the “folly” of reducing the size of the armed forces, urging him to stop sacking full-time service men and women today.

The Lib Dem launched the attack on the Government’s defence cut policy which will see regular army numbers fall 20% from 102,000 to 82,000, between 2010 and 2018.

As part of the plans in the defence review in 2010 the Ministry of Defence is now trying to recruit more reservists to plug the gap.

Royal Navy and the RAF forces have also been cut, but by a smaller proportion.

Sir Bob, whose constituency is home to 16 Air Assault Brigade. told MPs in the House of Commons: “Britain’s armed forces are the best, They defend our interests at home and overseas and, as we are witnessing, taking central action in flooded areas.”

He told the Prime Minister to recognise the folly of reducing the size of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces and to “stop sacking full time service men and women”.

Answering the Colchester MP’s question in his weekly House of Commons session David Cameron praised the “extraordinary role” of the armed services during the flooding in the last few weeks.

But said a £38 million black hole in the defence budget had left the Government with “difficult decisions”, including on the size of the army, navy and air force.

Adding: “What we now have is a top five defence budget in terms of spending anywhere in the world. We are coming to the end of all the redundancy schemes sow we can now point loudly and proudly to the extraordinary investment we will be making in Type 45 destroyers, in new aircraft carriers in our hunter killer submarines in our A4100M aircraft. In the best equipment any force could have anywhere in the world.”

2 comments

  • "What we now have is a top five defence budget in terms of spending anywhere in the world". And we are a country at a far lower risk of invasion than the vast majority of countries in the world. So what do we NEED such a huge "defence" budget for? So we can attack other countries at the behest of the US, or interfere militarily in other people's wars. We could make massive cuts to military spending without making even the tiniest increase in risk to this country.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

  • Beerlover I am sorry your attitude is the reason why the armed forces gets such a rough end of the stick. To give you some idea of the threats we face. One with the US pivot to asia Europe (read us and France) will have to provide security to the Gulf with aircraft carriers and Marines unless you want to risk Iran taking over the gulf and stopping Gas and Oil supplies. Remember we realy on the UEA for going on fifty percent of gas in a few years time. America is now energy self sufficient because of fraking and could survive losing the gulf supply. Two, China decides that the South China sea is theirs and sticks 2 aircraft carriers blocking free shipping movement and attacks Japan over the 3 islands. Do we A. Reneage on our historic treaties with Japan the reason why Japan has not rearmed after the 2nd world war as they were protected by the US and other allies. B. We let Singapore face China on its own ? Three Russia decides that ethnic Russians in Estonia a EU member need defending after the world let them invade the Ukraine on this pretext. Do we step in or say thats too hard ? At the moment Dave's cuts mean the Royal Marines are loosing their engineering support so can not deploy properly, the Paras are loosing support from artillary to engineers. The Royal Navy whilst having anti mine ships in the gulf protected by T45 destroyers from regular Iranian tests of their defensive responce are trying to crew twice as many ships as Italy on less sailors. Next time you need to rescue Britons from a Libya incident forget it. The army are lossing 20 Apaches. The French have been supported by C17 and Sentinal aircraft from the RAF in Mali saving thousands of lives. We are gutting the armed forces in a very dangerouse way and we will only know the cost when body bags come home as in Afgan because of not having the correct equipment. At this time 100years after WW1 it is apt to remember that the rsason the Kaiser discounted Britains threat of involvement to support Belgium and France was because he felt our contemptable little army could not stop Germany. Well those little contemtables stopped the German Army at Ypres at the cost of 50 percent casualties. Would it not have been better to have had an army of 200,000 rather than the 80,000 we had which would have stopped Germany before they even started a war. As Lincoln said talk quitely and carry a large stick. Because of people with your views we are turning our stick in to tooth pick but still hopping it will rescue us when the time comes. I am sorry your just wrong look at history, disarmenant leads to agression by others.

    Report this comment

    The Ginge

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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