Jim Murphy MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, said:
“Labour has repeatedly warned of the reservist crisis at the heart of the Government’s defence plans. Soldiers are being sacked regardless of whether there are reservist replacements.
“It is unacceptable that a policy so central to UK defence capability has been so woefully mishandled by the Government. A rushed reserve plan which derived from a rush to sack soldiers without a strategy for reform has left the country at risk of a serious manpower shortage and wasted public funds.
“As the reservists recruitment crisis deepens it threatens our nation’s ability to meet national defence objectives.
“There must now be an urgent investigation in to this policy to correct the backlog, recruit required reservist numbers and ensure this can never happen again. The Defence Board must take control to review the reserve strategy and ensure planning assumptions will be met and not missed.
“The Public Accounts Committee must review the Capita contract to evaluate whether value for money has been compromised and ensure this debacle is not repeated. Urgent action is now essential.”