Luke Pollard MP

Labour & Co-operative MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport

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Defence Select Committee report describes the Royal Navy's escort vessels as "woeful

Will the Royal Navy have enough ships to protect the new aircraft carriers? That's the worry contained in today's Defence Select Committee report that describes the Royal Navy's current state of our escort vessels as "woeful".

I've been very concerned about the state of the Royal Navy. Dockyard and Naval Base jobs matter to Plymouth and it matters to me. My Dad served in the Royal Navy and I'm very concerned to see the state the Royal Navy is in.

In the general election the Tories promised not to scrap HMS Ocean when I raised concerns it would be scrapped. They won the election and they scrapped it. I raised concerns that they would cut the number of Type 26 Frigates. They denied they would, and then they cut the numbers in half. They've since announced a new Type 31 General Purpose frigate but with very few details available. And we know what they promised about Stonehouse Barracks and the Royal Citadel only to u-turn as soon as votes were cast.

The Royal Navy needs a proper plan to provide enough ships and personnel for us to defend our island nation and protect our interests abroad. The engine problems in the new Type 45 Destroyers means we are at risk of not being able to deploy enough ships to protect our carriers when they come online soon. This simply isn't good enough.

I want to see the Government properly invest in the Royal Navy, not just in equipment and ships but in people too. The cuts to the military have cut our capabilities and risk the defence of the UK according to the Defence Committee report published today.

We need a proper plan for restoring our navy, recruit and train enough personnel and ensure that in uncertain times we have the capabilities to protect the UK and our interests worldwide. The men and women who work in the Royal Navy do an amazing job and serve our country with distinction. My complaint here is not about service personnel - it is about the political decisions made by Tory Ministers and rubber-stamped by our local Tory MPs. Plymouth deserves better than this Government.

Let me know what you think about the current state of the Royal Navy.


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