Former Army chief calls Royal Navy a '˜national embarrassment'
A FORMER Army chief has called for an increase in defence spending after branding the Royal Navy a '˜national embarrassment'. Â
Independent crossbencher Lord Dannatt, who served as chief of the general staff from 2006-09, raised his criticism at question time in the House of Lords.
Lord Dannatt said it was clear theÂ Royal NavyÂ and the fleet at its disposal was '˜far smaller than it has ever been in peacetime before.'
He said: '˜This is a national embarrassment which our allies are picking up on.'
Lord Dannatt went on to add that the UK has '˜never spent as little as 2% of GDP on our defence' and that there was a '˜rising case'Â to raise the defence budget for all three services.
But defence minister Lord Howe said: 'I would humbly suggest we shouldn't get too distracted by percentages.
'˜What we need to do is look at the threats and make sure we have the right capabilities to deal with them.
'˜That work is on-going through the modernising defence programme.
'˜We continue to have one of the largest defence budgets in the world and it is growing by Â£1 billion a year.'