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Minister breaks ranks to demand MORE spending on defence

A minister has gone public with a demand for more cash for defence, saying the current budget is ‘just not enough’.

Tobias Ellwood broke ranks and said Britain could not continue to lead the fight against extremism in the Middle East without extra resources.

The defence minister, also a former Army Captain, cited concerns over a potential training backlog and the ‘financial pressure’ the equipment programme is under.

Tobias Ellwood told the Commons last night (pictured) that Britain could not continue to lead the fight against extremism in the Middle East without extra resources

His comments pile the pressure on Chancellor Philip Hammond to cough up more money for the cash-strapped Ministry of Defence.

His appeal came after Tom Tugendhat, chair of the foreign affairs select committee, said ‘size matters’ when it comes to the military.

Speaking at a briefing in London, Mr Tugendhat, the former Army officer added to calls for more money for the MoD, saying: ‘We simply cannot maintain the ambitions that we hoped to.’

Addressing MPs in the Commons last night during a debate, Mr Ellwood said: ‘If we want to continue playing an influential role on the international stage with full spectrum capability, if we want to provide the critical security-post Brexit trade deals will demand, if we want to remain a leading contributor in the fight against extremism in the Middle East and elsewhere.

‘You cannot continue to do this on a defence budget of just 2 per cent.

‘Two per cent is just not enough.’

Mr Ellwood's comments pile the pressure on Chancellor Philip Hammond to cough up more money for the cash-strapped Ministry of Defence (file picture)

Mr Ellwood’s comments pile the pressure on Chancellor Philip Hammond to cough up more money for the cash-strapped Ministry of Defence (file picture)

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has allowed the military chiefs and his ministers to make the case for defence over the next few months (file picture)

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has allowed the military chiefs and his ministers to make the case for defence over the next few months (file picture)

He went on: ‘This is a question not just for this government, not just for Parliamentarians, but for Britain what status, what role, what responsibility do we aspire to play as we seek to trade more widely in a world that is becoming more dangerous.’

His public comments are the strongest yet by a minister on the issue of the defence budget.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has allowed the military chiefs and his ministers to make the case for defence over the next few months.

Their bid for more cash comes as the department undertakes a mini defence review amid fears the current budget is not enough to pay for spending plans.



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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