In an answer to a Parliamentary question from Luke Pollard MP, the Ministry of Defence has said that it does not expect to need any new sailors to crew the new ships announced by the Prime Minister in his new defence spending speech.
The Prime Minister announced a new class of ships in the Type 32, a new multi-role research vessel and confirmed that they will order 8 Type 26 frigates, (to be based in Devonport following a successful cross-Plymouth campaign), five Type 31 light frigates. However, he gave no indication of a replacement for HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark that Luke successfully campaigned from being scrapped in the past few years.
Here’s the question and answer from Luke and the MOD:
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made the total number of personnel required for the Royal Navy to crew the new ships announced by the Prime Minister in his statement of 19 November 2020 on the Integrated Review and to fulfil all other Royal Navy duties.
“Under current planning models, the required workforce numbers for the future capability changes fit within the current limits, therefore no increase in personnel will be required. Work on the new platforms and programmes are still in the early planning phases and the workforce requirements will become clearer as planning matures.”
“As a strong supporter of defence and the Royal Navy I keep a close eye on what the Government is doing. Having already cut the Royal Marines and sold off Devonport’s HMS Ocean to Brazil, I know that the reality and the headlines often differ. That is why this answer is so important. The MOD is saying that despite lots of new ships, they won’t need a single extra sailor. So, does that mean further cuts to Devonport’s ships like HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark to crew these new ships? Let’s see…”
Luke on defence
Luke has a strong record on defence. You can read more about Luke’s defence campaigns here. https://www.lukepollard.org/news/2019/11/24/lukes-record-on-defence/