Today's defence related news is led by coverage of Minister for Defence, People and Veterans Tobias Ellwood comments he made in the House of Commons Estimated Day debate.
House of Commons Estimates Day debate: Ministry of Defence Funding
The Times and Press Association covered Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood’s comments that spending 2% of GDP on the military is “not enough in an increasingly dangerous world” and that 2% should be a “floor rather than a ceiling”. This follows the first allotted Estimates Day in the House yesterday, in which Parliament considered the estimates of public spending by government departments.
Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood said:
Two percent is just not enough. 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
Second Iraq soldier quits
The Telegraph reports that a staff sergeant has quit the Army while being investigated over an incident in Iraq 14 years ago. This follows recent reporting over the work of the Iraq Fatalities Investigations unit (IFI).
A MOD Spokesperson said:
The welfare of our personnel is of the utmost importance and we have a legal obligation to ensure the full facts of the alleged incidents are known. The Iraq Fatality Investigations do not conduct criminal investigations of soldiers, cases only take place once the prospect of criminal prosecution is eliminated, and individuals are granted anonymity.
Royal Navy’s Newest Ship HMS Forth
The Daily Express reported on the Royal Navy’s newest patrol ship that docked in her home base port Portsmouth. HMS Forth which can carry out duties from fishery, protection to counter piracy, from anti-terrorism to humanitarian relief, is the first of five new patrol vessels due by 2020. HMS Forth is expected to take her first naval deployment later this year.
Commanding Officer Bob Laverty said:
It’s a huge privilege to be the first commanding officer of HMS Forth. I am delighted to be the first to bring her into Portsmouth. These ships are capable and can provide the Royal Navy with a range of flexibility from fishery protection to deploying overseas on counter smuggling operations and protecting British Overseas territories.