THIS WEEK IN 1982: Navy policy ‘must change’ MPs say

Health and safety approved: Alex Naylor as Nelson wearing  his life jacket on the Thames in 2004 to promote the following year's Trafalgar 200 events in Portsmouth. 'Picture: Steve Reid

NOSTALGIA: Battle of Trafalgar fought under health and safety rules of engagement

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Conservative back bench MPs were becoming increasingly confident the Falklands invasion would force a change in the government’s policy towards the Royal Navy.

The feeling had grown since a meeting of Conservatives which followed a rowdy emergency commons debate on the crisis.

Peter Viggers, the MP for Gosport, was among those who strongly expressed their views to defence secretary John Nott at a private meeting.

He said defence planning for years had concentrated on NATO, Europe and the nuclear deterrent, while neglecting the deterrent effect of a large navy, and he called for a postponement of the changes and run-down of sea forces announced a few days earlier.

Mr Nott reportedly disagreed with the claim.