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

Thursday, 6th September 2018, 5:21 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th September 2018, 5:27 pm
HMS Queen Elizabeth. Picture: Shaun Roster

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 the Royal Navy 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.'

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HMS Queen Elizabeth. Picture: Shaun Roster

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' 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 £1 billion a year.'