MP Mike Hancock calls Royal Navy redundancies a “mistake”

ANGRY Mike Hancock MP
ANGRY Mike Hancock MP
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A PORTSMOUTH MP has described the planned sacking of 400 sailors as a ‘tragedy’.

Today it was revealed that Royal Navy personnel who risked their lives in Libya are among hundreds set to lose their jobs this week.

It has been reported that several dozen of the 250 sailors from Type-22 frigate HMS Cumberland - which helped rescue British citizens in February - will be told on Friday they no longer have jobs in the Royal Navy.

Crew from eight of the 10 other ships that took part in the campaign are also in line to lose their jobs.

MP for Portsmouth South, Mike Hancock, said: ‘I have sympathy for every one of them.

‘It’s very sad but something of an inevitability. The other two branches of the military took their cuts last month and now it is the navy’s turn.

‘In the long term I think it is a mistake because I don’t think they will be able to replace those people. Many of them are highly trained technicians.

‘But we have to look realistically at whether we can still afford to do what we do now around the world.’

It is believed that the Government will issue compulsory redundancy notices to up to 400 officers and ratings out of 1,100 navy personnel who will lose their jobs in the Ministry of Defence’s first round of redundancies.

HMS Cumberland was the first warship to be sent to enforce the blockade on Libya. It sailed home in April and was decommissioned in June.

The plans to cut posts were announced earlier this year as part of a programme which could see 11,000 redundancies across the RAF, Army and Royal Navy by April 2015 in an effort to tackle the deficit and bring down the defence budget.