MP backs troops to mark Armed Forces Week - and calls for a stop to defence cuts

MP backs troops to mark Armed Forces Week - and calls for a stop to defence cuts

By Chris Brayford | 23/06/2022

MP backs troops to mark Armed Forces Week - and calls for a stop to defence cuts


MP JOHN Healey joined Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer ahead of Armed Forces week to “thank troops for their service” to the UK’s national and NATO commitments.

The Wentworth and Dearne MP and Labour leader visited NATO’s Allied Maritime Command centre at the UK Permanent Joint Headquarters in Northwood.

NATO is a military alliance between 30 member states and Sir Keir Starmer spoke about the Ukraine crisis and Labour’s commitment to miltary defence and support.

The Labour leader said: “Visiting NATO Allied Maritime Command, I spoke to our troops about the situation in Ukraine and the need to bolster Britain’s defence and security at home and abroad.

“Labour’s commitment to NATO is unshakeable. We stand with our allies against Putin's illegal war in Ukraine.”

Mr Healey spoke in Parliament on Monday to discuss further support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s “brutal and illegal invasion”.

The Wentworth and Dearne MP said: “It is now a grim, grinding war of attrition. NATO’s Secretary-General warned last week that the alliance “must prepare for the fact that it could take years.”

“Everything that can be done must be done to help to maintain the Ukrainian military’s morale, weaponry and personnel.

“The Government will continue to have Labour’s full support in the military assistance they provide to Ukraine.”

Mr Healey also questioned the Government’s next steps as the war in Ukraine continues with some “growing concerns” over cuts.

The 62 year-old said: “The Prime Minister offered to train 10,000 new Ukrainian soldiers every three months. This is exactly what is needed.

“Did President Zelensky accept Britain’s offer? Will these Ukrainian recruits be trained in Britain? Which other NATO nations will be involved in such training?

“However, there are serious growing concerns about the UK meeting its NATO commitments, with the failure to reboot defence plans in response to Ukraine, delays to a fully modern warfighting division until 2030, continued uncertainty over Ajax and, of course, further deep cuts to Army numbers.

“The new head of the Army said in an internal message to troops last week that

“There is now a burning imperative to forge an Army capable of fighting alongside our allies and defeating Russia in battle”, so why are Ministers pushing ahead with plans to cut another 10,000 soldiers?

“When will they halt these cuts, and when will they start to rebuild the strength of the British Army to meet the threats that our country and our NATO allies face?”