Minister defends plans to scrap the Navy's Harrier jets

A group of former Royal Navy admirals has called on the government to reverse its decision to cut the aircraft carrier Ark Royal and the Navy's fleet of Harrier jets.

In a letter to the Times the group says defence cuts will leave the "newly valuable" Falkland Islands open to attack and calls the plan to axe the Harrier fleet "financially perverse".

Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey said the decision was not taken lightly, but that the Tornado was the right aircraft for the current conflict in Afghanistan and for the next decade.