‘UK needs to boost its budget for the military’

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SPENDING less on the military does not make the UK more secure or the threats go away, a former defence secretary has warned.

Arguing the need for increased funding, Labour peer Lord Hutton of Furness also said a current national security capability review was ‘about money’.

Amid reports that the Royal Marines could be cut and the amphibious assault ships, HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark, taken out of service, the former MP said he was ‘absolutely opposed’ to any move that would see ‘the end of our effective amphibious capability’.

He told peers that the two new aircraft carriers – which will be based in Portsmouth – could not fulfil the same role.

Retired First Sea Lord, Admiral Lord Alan West, added the nation’s armed forces had been ‘hollowed out’.

He said the nation was ‘deluding itself’ by prioritising cash on digital defences and not spending as much on ‘hard combat power’.

‘The two things are complementary,’ he said. ‘It is not a panacea to spend less money.’