Labour forced a vote in the House of Commons on Wednesday calling on MPs to commit to no further cuts to the Armed Forces. A recent Ministry of Defence report revealed plans for a cut of 10,000 Army personnel.
The Conservatives refused to back the motion, including Ipswich’s MP, Tom Hunt. The Conservatives cut the size of the Army from 102,200 in 2010 to a target size of 82,500 in 2015, the latest raft of cuts will take it down to 72,500 – the smallest in 300 years.
Cllr Alasdair Ross, an Ipswich Borough Councillor and former serving soldier in our armed forces, said: “The mask has slipped. Tom Hunt had the chance to prove that his warm words about our defence community translated into action, but he failed to stand up for us when we needed him.
“By refusing to rule out further cuts to our Armed Forces, the Conservatives are refusing to back local high skilled jobs, the livelihoods of our military families and our local economy. Tom Hunt might pretend to be patriotic, but the fact is, he fell into line behind Boris Johnson and supported cuts to 10,000 army personnel.
“As a veteran myself, I feel incredibly let down.”
Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey MP, said:
“The decision to reduce the strength of our Armed Forces is a mistake. Threats to the UK are increasing yet under this Government, our dedicated service personnel will be asked to respond with fewer troops, fewer ships and fewer planes.
“Families in Ipswich will be disappointed they haven’t got the backing of their local MP on this.”