Regimental campaign taken to Commons

By Graham DinesPolitical EditorTHE fight to save Britain's historic infantry regiments – including the Royal Anglians – from being culled as part of the Government's rationalisation of the Army has been taken to the House of Commons.

THE British Army is "dangerously small and overcommitted" because of cutbacks, the former head of the armed forces has reportedly said.

Retired general Lord Guthrie warned that plans to slash the size of the infantry would leave the nation unable to react militarily in certain scenarios.

The former Chief of both General Staff and Defence Staff reacted to an expected announcement today that infantry battalions will be cut from 40 to 36.

Lord Guthrie told a national newspaper: "The Army is very small as it is and has a huge number of commitments.


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"It has become dangerously small for what it is being asked to do. The Army always has to be prepared for the unexpected, but, of course, if you have too small an Army you can't react."

The Government is expected to announce today its plans for the reorganisation of the Army, which will see numbers cut from 104,000 to 102,000 and it is expected to affect all infantry battalions. One of the six Scottish units is expected to go along with three English battalions, with the Royal Anglian Regiment one of those under threat.

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The fight to save Britain's historic infantry regiments - including the Royal Anglians - from being culled as part of the Government's rationalisation of the Army has been taken to the House of Commons.

Bernard Jenkin, North Essex MP, has tabled an Early Day Motion saying the Ministry of Defence's plans to slash four battalions from the strength of the Army must be reversed. His move follows the launch of an East Anglian Daily Times campaign to save the Royal Anglians.

Mr Jenkin, the former Shadow Defence Secretary, said the proposals were "ill-considered" a time when the Army was "overcommitted and overstretched".

"We have to look at the bigger picture. The real issue is the size of the Army and we must ensure that two battalions of the Royal Anglians are saved," he added.

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