No plans to axe target for 30,000 reservists

The Princess Royal talks to Samantha Cooper, third left, at a reception at St James' Palace

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DEFENCE minister Julian Brazier has denied speculation that the Ministry of Defence is drawing up plans to scrap its target to recruit 30,000 army reservists.

Mr Brazier told MPs there are no plans – nor any planning ongoing – to get rid of the target.

The Conservative minister was replying to Labour criticism of the recruitment programme, which envisages a shrunken regular army force of 82,000 with the number of reservists rising to 30,000.

Mr Brazier also said 1,490 people joined the army reserve in the three-month period up to December 2014, adding this was an increase of 147 per cent compared with the equivalent period 12 months previous.

Army restructuring has seen the number of Army Reserve units in the Portsmouth area go up. The city is also home to HMS King Alfred, one of the country’s largest naval reserve units.

Mr Brazier said: ‘The number I gave earlier of 1,490 people joining the reserves in just one quarter indicates that it is now moving sharply in the right direction.’