John Baron MP questions Government on reserve recruitment

July 13, 2015
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MP says Reservist plans remain high-risk

Today in the House of Commons, John Baron MP questioned the Minister for Reserves, Julian Brazier MP, about the Government’s plans to replace 20,000 Regular troops with 30,000 Reservists. John’s question centred around the fact that the Major Projects Authority (a Government body working out of the Cabinet Office), which oversees large Government projects, recently gave the MoD’s reserve plans a ‘red’ rating. This is given to projects deemed to be ‘unachievable’.

In the Chamber, John asked,

“The Major Projects Authority rates as ‘red’ those projects it believes are ‘unachievable’. Given cost increases, delays, capability gaps and reports of superannuated reservists and those not regularly attending parades remaining on strength, at what point will the Government consider scrapping these plans and increasing the size of the Regular Army?”

The Minister responded that, in his view, the reservist plan was progressing well.

Afterwards, John said,

“Plans to replace 20,000 Regulars with 30,000 Reservists are clearly high-risk. So much so the-then Secretary of State in 2011 wanted to retain the Regulars until there was clear evidence that the Reservist plan would work.”

“The Government should now scrap these ill-considered plans and restore the British Army to around 100,000 regulars. Recent international events should remind us of the value of strong defence.”

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