Luke Pollard, MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, has reacted with concern after the Times reported that 400 Royal Marines are facing the axe in the latest round of defence cuts. Stonehouse Barracks in Plymouth is often referred to as the Royal Marines’ spiritual home, and this cut would reduce the Royal Marines from 6,500 to just 6,100 personnel.
There was no mention of cuts to the Royal Marine in the Defence Secretary’s statement to the Commons on Monday nor in the Defence Review white paper. The defence review also failed to provide any certainty over the future of the Royal Marines in Plymouth after the Government closes Stonehouse Barracks in 2028.
Luke Pollard, who has been leading the campaign to keep the Royal Marines in Plymouth after Stonehouse Barracks closes, said:
“The defence review saw two Devonport-based frigates cut and 10,000 roles lost in the Army. Now it seems that the Government has plans to cut 400 from the Royal Marines which is a significant gamble with our national security. At a time when the Royal Marines are poised to become the centrepiece of the new Future Commando Force cutting their numbers is a mistake.
“As the days pass even more Tory defence cuts are being made public. I don’t think people in Plymouth want to see our frigates cut and they will strongly oppose Government plans to cut the Army and the Royal Marines. I have tabled questions seeking urgent details of whether the cuts will affect Plymouth-based Royal Marines.”
You can find the Times article here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/royal-marines-and-raf-regiment-face-job-cuts-nz9hsm03t.
Luke is the Vice-Chair of the All-Party Armed Forces Parliamentary Group with responsibility for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.