UK’s cash-strapped military came close to running out of ammunition, withdrawing warships from the Gulf and grounding fighter jets as well as ditching some Nato commitments, new Defence Secretary reveals
- Warships almost had to be withdrawn from the Gulf during a funding crisis
- New Defence Minister Ben Wallace blamed successive government cuts
- Stocks, buildings and the refurbishment of vehicles were ignored by budgets
The UK’s military nearly ran out of ammunition before ‘Boris came to the rescue’ by injecting £2.2billion in to the cash-strapped forces, the defence secretary revealed.
Warships almost had to be withdrawn from the Gulf and war jets came close to being grounded as military chiefs battled a crisis in funding after successive cuts.
New Defence Minister Ben Wallace told The Sun he blamed previous ‘Prime Ministers and some of our military leaders’ for having ‘bigger appetites than their stomachs’ and ‘hollowing out things that are incredibly vital’.
New Defence Minister Ben Wallace said warships almost had to be withdrawn from the Gulf and war jets came close to being grounded as military chiefs battled a crisis in funding
Stocks, buildings and the refurbishment of vehicles fell by the wayside in favour of spending money on aircraft – without the recruits to fly them, Mr Wallace said.
‘We don’t have enough pilots to fly all our planes we’ve been buying,’ he revealed, after discovering a pilot training programme had a backlog of 250 trainees.
In his first Interview with The Sun as Defence Minister he said the armed forces were at risk of being ‘unable to meet our NATO obligations’ and protect the country.
But at the White-hall spending review three weeks ago Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed to pump £2.2billion in to the UK military.
Winning the funding battle with the Treasury was difficult but ‘Boris came to the rescue. He didn’t have to, but he did,’ Mr Wallace said.
At the White-hall spending review three weeks ago Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed to pump £2.2billion in to the UK military. Pictured with Ben Wallace during a visit to Salisbury plain training area on Thursday, September 19
A fall in ammunition supplies was ‘never critical’ but could have become close to being a ‘real challenge’ if nothing was done.
And soldiers have been left to live in ‘dilapidated not fit for purpose accommodation’ while any funding offered to the military is pumped in to expansion, he said.
The £2.2billion in funding will go towards rebuilding barracks to ensure morale is high within service men and women, he added.