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Jim Murphy MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, commenting on newspaper reports that the MoD is conducting a review to find extra savings from its budget, said:

“This amounts to a startling admission from Government that the defence review was not fit for purpose. Last year Ministers claimed to have a long term plan for defence, but just twenty eight weeks later there is an unseemly scramble to plug the serious financial holes in their plans.

“At a time when the Chief of Defence Staff has called on the Government to ‘up the ante’ in Libya and the heads of the Army and the RAF have said their services are ‘running hot’ the country will be shocked that the MoD are preparing to make deeper defence cuts.

“On the day of a new welfare announcement this will be seen by many as the MoD giving with one hand but taking with the other.

“Given the depth of concern over the MoD budget it now finally must be time for Ministers pause, think again and genuinely reopen and reconsider their out of date defence review.”

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