Defence secretary rubbishes reports that armed forces are to be cut

THE DEFENCE secretary has rubbished reports the armed forces are to be cut and one of the Royal Navy’s flagship carriers is to be leased to one of the UK’s allies.

Sunday, 24th November 2019, 3:35 pm
Updated Sunday, 24th November 2019, 6:44 pm
The Royal Navy's newest aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, arrives in her home port of Portsmouth for the first time

A report published in the Sunday Times claimed that, in a bid to cut costs, army defence chiefs are pressing to mothball one of Britain’s flagship aircraft carriers or lease it to the USA.

A source, who was not named in the report, said: ‘The army hates aircraft carriers, which they have always seen as a white elephant, but the Americans love them. They are cutting edge because they can operate with far fewer crew than US carriers.’

The article also highlighted the move was part of a cost cutting exercise which would see the government renege on their commitment to “maintain the overall size of the armed forces”.

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However the Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace MP, responded: ‘This is total rubbish. There are no plans to shrink the armed forces. There are however plans to increase army recruiting levels.’

It was recently announced that Portsmouth is to be home to the Royal Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales which will join its sister ship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is also based in the city.