Speeches sourced from the Labour party’s online archive More…

Jim Murphy MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, in advance of redundancy notices being delivered to approximately 5,000 members of the British Army, said:
 
"The Government has a flawed plan for reforming the British Army. There is a huge effort going into sacking soldiers but nowhere near as much is being done to plug the gap by recruiting new reservists.
 
"These redundancies represent not just broken promises but a failing strategy, and the level of voluntary applicants will be a signal of morale. Senior Army figures are right to warn that Ministers' decisions could lead to a mismatch between capability and ambition.
 
"Labour knows that difficult decisions need to be made, and accepts this means smaller Services than in 2010. Far from having balanced the defence budget, however, Ministers' failed economic plan means long-term decisions in defence will be required. Despite their claims, Ministers have failed to put defence on a stable footing.
 
"There is a need for effective reform in the Army. Greater partnering with allies, tackling top heavy structures, increasing skill levels and deploying new technologies such as unmanned vehicles are all essential. We should also help train some other nations’ underdeveloped Forces so they can do more of the heavy-lifting themselves.
 
“Labour has argued for a model of preventative intervention, with earlier action and capacity-building to prevent large-scale conflict. It is vital Ministers go further to show that they have a plan to shape the Services to modern day threats.
 
"Each redundancy notice represents not just an out-of-work hero but a worried family. Particularly now, there must be greater support to find veterans employment and enhance post-service opportunities."

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