Kevan Jones MP, Labour’s Shadow Armed Forces Minister, will challenge Ministers during an Opposition Day Debate on Defence Reform today on allegations that the announcement on changes to regiments is being delayed due to political concerns within No10:
“The Party which once regarded itself as the ‘Forces’ Party’ seems to be putting political expediency before the people on whom our security relies.
“Re-organising the Army shouldn’t be about opinion polls but creating a dynamic and efficient force which upholds our values and protects our interests.
“Our regiments embody our proud history and national prestige. Many have served with distinction in the fields of Flanders, the beaches of Normandy or the dust of Helmand. Ministers’ now trademark lack of sensitivity when dealing with this matter, however, has to date been as concerning as it has insensitive.
“Continued speculation is damaging to morale and causing deep uncertainty. If the delay is political people will not just be angry but hurt.”
“The Army needs reform, but Ministers must respect historic identities and traditions while adapting to new threats. The Conservatives promised a larger Army in Opposition but are delivering the smallest since the Boer War. They need to win back lost trust and credibility.”