Cuts to Royal Navy a ‘national disgrace’

The fragment from the Union Jack believed to have flown on board HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. Credit: Sotheby's

Flag from HMS Victory and Lord Nelson’s love letters up for sale at London auction

Have your say

CUTS to the Royal Navy’s fleet have gone too far and are a ‘national disgrace’, a former head of the service has warned.

Lord West of Spithead, a former first sea lord, said the government had not just cut to the bone but ‘into the bone’, as he insisted the UK had been left with too few ships to escort naval convoys.

The Labour peer also warned the possibility of Scottish independence poses the greatest security and defence threat to the UK.

Lord West told the Andrew Marr Show: ‘I believe we’ve cut into the bone... it’s not to the bone, but into the bone and I think we’ve gone too far.

‘A great maritime nation like us, where we still run global shipping from London and we’re totally reliant on that, those sinews that keep the global village together, to have 19 escorts I think is a national disgrace.’

A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said: ‘Tough decisions had to be taken to deal with the budget deficit left in defence.’