HMS Queen Elizabeth: Carrier not needed to tackle 'cheeky Iranians' says minister

HMS Queen Elizabeth leaves Portsmouth Naval Base. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
HMS Queen Elizabeth leaves Portsmouth Naval Base. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
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A GOVERNMENT minister has insisted that the Royal Navy’s HMS Queen Elizabeth will not be sent to the Gulf, amid continued tensions with Iran.

Defence procurement minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan was asked on board HMS Queen Elizabeth whether the carrier would have been deployed to the Strait of Hormuz if it was capable.

The carrier left Portsmouth yesterday for trials with the F-35B jets.

Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan and Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose are in the Gulf as part of a US-led taskforce.

Ms Trevelyan said: ‘It depends on what you need it for, in the recent, the Iranian sharp-shooters in the little boats coming out and trying to hijack ships, it's a very narrow strait, the reality is a patrol, a constabulary like Montrose is there to help them through.

‘Those cheeky Iranians in their little fast boats don't mess with a warship, Montrose is a very good warship, she knows what she is doing.’

But, Ms Trevelyan said, HMS Queen Elizabeth and sister ship HMS Prince of Wales will have a vital role in the future of the UK’s defence.

‘They will offer 50 years of safety and security to the British public and our Nato allies as well as supporting thousands of UK technical jobs, a tremendous return on investment both financially and in operational flexibility and capability across our oceans,’ she said.