Jim Murphy MP, Labour's Shadow Defence Secretary, commenting on reports that estimates for adapting HMS Prince of Wales so that it can be used by the Joint Strike Fighter are understood have risen from £500 million to £1.8 billion, said:
“There will be dismay at the disarray surrounding the Government’s carrier programme.
“While Ministers decide whether to u-turn on a u-turn Britain is left without aircraft on aircraft carriers at sea.
“David Cameron’s decision to sell the Harriers cheaply appears reckless if not foolish as there is no apparent policy to end this important capability gap.
“The country deserves urgent clarity from the Government on how carrier strike capability will be delivered with detail on costs, timescale and interoperability with key allies.
“Without clarity on the cost of long-term and strategically vital programmes such as this there can be no triumphalism within the MoD on their handling of the defence budget or equipment programme.
“This costly confusion has got to come to an end.”