Jim Murphy MP, Labour's Shadow Defence Secretary, responding to Liam Fox's speech today, said:
“Liam Fox’s hubris will sit uneasily with service personnel who have been sacked.
“Reform is necessary, but our Armed Forces must be more than an after-thought to this Government’s austerity measures.
“Liam Fox is cutting the British Army to its lowest level for 100 years. He championed an order for new Chinooks but failed to mention he’s cutting the numbers Labour had originally planned.
“The decisions taken by this Government are their own and too often they have has put savings before strategy.
“We agree that you cannot have national security without fiscal security, but the reverse is equally true. This Government’s rushed, much criticised defence review has left gaps in Britain’s equipment programme and limits our ability to act militarily in a fast-changing global security landscape. The review has not been justified but exposed by ongoing operations in Libya.
“Uncertainty defines the defence budget and this speech has done nothing to correct that. At a time when it is most needed the Government still do not have a defence industrial policy.
“This Government is out of touch and out of date on defence.
“When the Government do the right thing on defence we will support them. We agree that NATO is the guarantor of European defence, that Afghanistan remains our primary mission and that we should be proud of what our military achieved in Libya.”