There is continued broadcast and print media coverage of the UK response to Hurricane Irma, the EU Security Paper and the trial of two soldiers charged with terror offences for their alleged membership of a banned neo-Nazi group.
This morning's breakfast news bulletins all featured footage of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visiting Royal Marines, Army Commandos and RAF personnel deployed to the Caribbean as part of the UK response to Hurricane Irma. There are now over 1,000 personnel spread across Anguilla, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands delivering specialist support to the local governments. There is also continued coverage in The Daily Telegraph, The Times, Daily Mail, Scotsman, Daily Mirror and Daily Express.
In an interview with the BBC, Brigadier John Ridge who is leading the UK military response in the region said:
I have been round the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla. The resilience of the people is incredible. They are getting on with it and trying to tidy up. I command a task force of about 1,000 troops and we had RFA Mounts Bay pre-positioned in the area.
Our engineers are involved in getting the infrastructure up and running. The complexity of the logistics is extremely challenging but I'm proud to see soldiers, marines and the air force getting stuck in. This is about people deploying out from the UK to hep their fellow British citizens. It makes me very proud.
EU External Security Papers
Following the publication yesterday of the UK's EU External Security Paper, a number of papers including the Daily Mail, Daily Mirror and Independent pick up on comments made by the Defence Secretary that UK troops will still serve with European soldiers after Britain leaves the EU. In an comment piece in The Daily Telegraph by Con Coughlin, he warns that the offer of a deep security partnership with the EU would carry more weight if the Treasury was not to press ahead with expected cuts to the Defence budget this autumn.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:At a time of increased threats and international instability the UK remains unwavering in its commitment to uphold European security. With the largest defence budget in Europe, the largest Navy British troops and planes deployed across land, air and sea in Europe, our role in the continent’s defence has never been more vital.
As we leave the EU, the UK and our European allies will ensure a close partnership that meets these shared challenges head-on.
Trial of two soldiers over alleged neo-Nazi links
The Daily Mail, Mirror and Express all report on the trial of two soldiers on terrorism charges over their alleged membership of a banned neo-Nazi group. The Independent makes further allegations about another soldier's racist views.
An Army spokesperson said:
We do not comment individual cases. Extremist ideology is completely as odds with the values and ethos of the Armed Forces. The Armed Forces have robust measures in place to ensure those exhibiting extremist views are neither tolerated or permitted to serve. All allegations of unacceptable behaviour are investigated and action taken as appropriate.
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