Ilford MP urges David Cameron to review defence spending

A Redbridge MP has called on the prime minister David Cameron to look again at armed forces spending following concerns about military action in Libya.

Ilford South MP Mike Gapes took advantage of Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons today (June 15) to urge the government to reopen the crucial review into defence spending, which axed the navy flagship HMS Ark Royal and outlined an eight per cent cut last year.

Mr Gapes, former chairman of the foreign affairs select committee, said: “The United States defence secretary Robert Gates said that the operation in Libya exposed serious capability gaps.

“The first sea lord Sir Mark Stanhope has said that the operations in Libya cannot be sustained without serious cuts elsewhere. Given those problems isn’t it time the prime minister reopened the defence review?”

Prime minister David Cameron responded by saying that Britain could keep going in the conflict and that “time is on our side.”

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He added: “I met with the first sea lord Mark Stanmore yesterday and he agreed that we can sustain this mission as long as we need to. We are doing the right thing.

“At the end of this review we have the fourth highest defence budget for any country in the world.”

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