Prime minister to meet UK's military chiefs in Downing Street to get them 'match fit' to defend Britain

BORIS Johnson is to host military leaders in Downing Street as he aims to get the armed forces ‘match fit’.

Thursday, 19th September 2019, 9:27 am
Prime minister Boris Johnson gives a speech at an event to announce the winner of the Conservative Party leadership contest in central London on July 23, 2019. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP)

The prime minister will meet chief of Defence Staff Sir Nick Carter plus the heads of the army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, among others, to discuss plans for the armed forces.

Mr Johnson also confirmed the next Nato leaders meeting will take place in Watford on December at the Grove hotel.

His talks with British military chiefs and defence secretary Ben Wallace today take place after chancellor Sajid Javid announced £2.2bn extra for the Ministry of Defence at the spending round earlier this month.

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MPs have repeatedly pressed the government to increase defence spending, with concerns also raised over personnel numbers and equipment.

Mr Johnson said: ‘As the world becomes a more competitive and challenging place, maintaining a world-class armed forces is as important as ever.

‘Defence has a vital role to play in supporting global Britain's role in the world. It underpins the strength of our alliances and enables us to support the rules-based order in a time of international uncertainty.

‘I look forward to speaking to the service chiefs today about how we invest and modernise our armed forces – getting them “match fit” for the global security challenges that lie ahead.’

However, shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith MP criticised the government for it’s ‘shoddy’ record on the armed forces and claimed more still needed to be done to boost the military.

The Labour frontbencher said: ‘As always Boris Johnson has a loose relationship with the truth. His claim to support our military is deeply hypocritical when his party has cut the Armed Forces for nine years running.

‘All three services are short of personnel and morale is in freefall because of the Tories' short-sighted defence cuts.

‘The Conservatives handed our servicemen and women a real terms pay cut for seven years running.

‘Too many personnel and their families are stuck in shoddy housing because of the government's ideological obsession with outsourcing services to failing private sector companies.’