MOD: No sailors on active duty will be made redundant

Defence secretary Liam Fox
Defence secretary Liam Fox
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THE government has insisted no sailors deployed on operations will be made redundant unless they have volunteered.

Today it was revealed that Royal Navy personnel who risked their lives in Libya are among hundreds set to lose their jobs this week.

It has been reported that several dozen of the 250 sailors from Type-22 frigate HMS Cumberland - which helped rescue British citizens in February - will be given the sack on Friday.

Crew from eight of the 10 other ships that took part in the campaign are also in line to lose their jobs.

But a Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said: ‘No-one who is preparing for operations or deployed on operations on the day that redundancy notices are issued will be made redundant unless they have volunteered.

‘Only those who have returned from operations and have taken all their operational leave will be considered.

‘We need to structure our forces to ensure that they are sufficiently flexible and adaptable to meet the demands of an uncertain future.

‘The decisions we are making are not easy but they will help to defend the UK, protect our interests overseas and enable us to work effectively with allies and partners to deliver greater security and stability in the wider world.’

It is believed that the Government will issue compulsory redundancy notices to up to 400 officers and ratings out of 1,100 navy personnel who will lose their jobs in the Ministry of Defence’s first round of redundancies.

HMS Cumberland was the first warship to be sent to enforce the blockade on Libya. It sailed home in April and was decommissioned in June.

The plans to cut posts were announced earlier this year as part of a programme which could see 11,000 redundancies across the RAF, Army and Royal Navy by April 2015 in an effort to tackle the deficit and bring down the defence budget.