Stark warning from Gen Sir Peter Wall underlines that the Government have taken a huge gamble – Kevan Jones MP

Kevan Jones MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Minister, responding to comments on Sky News by Gen. Sir Peter Wall, head of the Army, said:

“The Government have cut the Army without a replacement plan in place. The country will worry about strategic shrinkage by stealth.

“The Government’s defence plans rest on doubling the number of Reserves and yet there is a recruitment crisis and employers have not been properly engaged. Ministers should put as much energy into recruiting Reservists as they do into sacking soldiers.

“This stark warning underlines that the Government have taken a huge gamble. The country will worry that reduced numbers in the absence of reform will limit Britain’s ability to meet our ambitions in the world. Our Services’ morale is continuing to fall.

“There are worrying skills shortages in the Army. Rather than salami slicing, strategic purpose should drive the capabilities we have.

“Labour has argued for our Forces to be reformed around the principles of adaptability and prevention, to focus on training others to defend themselves and trained in stabilisation and language skills. Ministers, by contrast, have focused on savings over strategy.”

Ends

Editor’s notes:

1. Gen. Sir Peter Wall’s interview is available here: http://news.sky.com/story/1103350/army-chief-more-cuts-may-put-uk-in-danger

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