Colchester: Sir Bob wants staff at the Treasury to volunteer for the Army Reserves


Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell has criticised the Government’s Treasury after it was revealed that not a single member of staff had volunteered to join the Army Reserves this year.

Speaking in parliament this week, Sir Bob made the observation because the Government is urging civilians to sign up to the reserves to compensate for the cut in the number of regular troops – something which has been imposed at the behest of the Treasury.

Liberal Democrat Sir Bob, a member of the Defence Select Committee, who has constantly criticised reducing the size of the Army, told the House of Commons that the British Army was being reduced to a size smaller than it was at the time of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, nearly 200 years ago.

He reminded Chancellor George Osborne that it was Government policy to encourage civilians to join the Army Reserve and therefore the Treasury should lead by example and persuade members of its workforce to volunteer.

Sir Bob said afterwards: “I greatly value the important role which reservists play within HM Armed Forces, but I do not think that the Government has got it right in thinking that they can cut still further the number of full-time soldiers and expect volunteer reservists to come forward in sufficient numbers to compensate.

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“Noting that the policy of replacing regulars with reservists has been driven by the Treasury, it is astonishing that not a single civilian in HM Treasury has volunteered to join the Reserves as requested by the Government.”

Sir Bobadded: “I think at some point the Government is going to have to look again at this matter.”

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