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Latest news | New Defence Secretary must address nuclear deterrent "white elephants"

Latest news

New Defence Secretary must address nuclear deterrent "white elephants"

SNP Defence Spokesperson, Stewart McDonald MP, has said the new Defence Secretary - Penny Mordaunt MP - must immediately address some of the "white elephants" facing the MoD.

The comments came following the new Defence Secretary's speech at RUSI, where she called for increased funding for the MoD and for supply ships to be built in the UK.

Commenting on the speech, Stewart McDonald said:

“Penny Mordaunt’s call for to the Treasury regarding the mounting funding challenges - well into the billions - that the MoD faces has been heard before, and already fallen on deaf ears. We know from the reports of both the National Audit Office and also parliament’s Public Accounts Committee that the MoD has one of the most dire financial outlooks in Whitehall and it is only getting worse.

“If she is serious about addressing the funding challenges facing the MoD, there are some white elephants in the room that need addressing, such as the ever increasing cost of Trident. She should also commit to a public inquiry into the MoD’s handling of decommissioning of nuclear powered submarines.

“Not only that, but her pitch to build new supply ships in UK is just another broken record that we’ve heard so many times before. Time and time again the Tories have betrayed our shipbuilders, and this promise cannot just be another empty vessel.

“It is therefore incumbent on Penny Mordaunt to commit to a serious and thoughtful approach to sorting out the challenges facing defence and security, and give shipbuilders across these islands the assurances over work that they deserve.

“The SNP has continued to offer a constructive opposition to the Conservatives on defence. We have engaged constructively on the Modernising Defence Programme in a bid to improve the UK’s defence posture in the High North, improve working conditions for members of the armed forces and suggested a more sustainable funding model – switching to multi-year defence agreements – in order to achieve this.

“I hope Penny Mordaunt is serious about her commitments and will engage with us in that meaningful discussion”.

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Tags: defence

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