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Shadow Armed Forces Minster warns Government ‘must not repeat the mistakes of previous defence reviews’

Stephen Morgan MP has warned the government to not repeat the mistakes of previous defence review and keep Armed Forces personnel at the heart of its forthcoming Integrated Review.

This comes following the announcement made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who today in the House of Commons announced a £16.5bn injection over four years.

Government defence spending has seen a real terms fall in overall defence spending by over £7bn over the last 10 years. This includes a ‘blackhole’ in the 10-year Equipment Plan budget that widened to £13bn this year, from £7bn from the year before.

As of 1 April 2020, the full-time trained strength of the UK Armed Forces was 132K, a shortfall of just under 12K (8%) below the government’s target.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, commented:

National Security is Labour’s first priority and today we welcome the PM’s statement on the long-overdue upgrade in defence spending. We were promised the most ambitious and comprehensive review in a generation and we expect the government to deliver it.

But this smacks of too little, too late, and a spending announcement without a strategy. The government has once again delayed the publication of the Integrated Review until at least the New Year and there’s still no clarity on its strategic goal.

Year on year we have seen a fall in defence spending and in our Armed Forces’ numbers. This decade of decline poses a risk to our security and our Forces personnel. It must end now and we await further details if the govt will provide the MoD with a fully-resourced spending plan that meets our capability needs for the future and keeps our Armed Forces at its heart.

I will continue to hold the government to account on this to ensure our armed forces get the very best.”

Mr Morgan has consistently raised concerns about Government defence spending and its impact on Armed Forces personnel, as well as its impact on the people of Portsmouth.