Report on ‘woeful’ military manpower shortcomings should be a ‘wake-up call’ to the MoD

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PRESSURE is mounting on defence bosses to overcome the manpower woes plaguing Britain’s military.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said the report by the National Audit today was a worrying one and demanded action.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan  has hit out at the PM

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan has hit out at the PM

The Labour MP, who sits on the government’s committee of public accounts, said: ‘I hope this report acts as a wake-up call for the MoD.

‘The recruitment gap is the highest in a decade, and numbers of skilled personnel in engineering and intelligence divisions is dangerously low.

‘If we’re to respond to complex modern threats we must attract and retain the very best.’

He added: ‘Keeping the nation safe and maintaining the capability of our armed forces is the first duty of government; it’s deeply concerning that the government is failing to deliver on this fundamental responsibility and high-time they re-assessed their approach to recruitment and retention.’

His call was echoed by the chairman of the committee of public accounts, Meg Hillier, who said the report showed the armed forces were ‘woefully below compliment’.

‘The Ministry of Defence needs to take a long hard look at its current approach,’ she said. ‘Without more innovative methods to attract and retain staff, the UK risks continuing with big gaps in capability and overstretching already hard working and crucial service personnel.’