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John Baron MP: Real concern over Army cuts

The defence secretary has been called to the Commons to explain why the government is making up to 5,300 soldiers redundant.

It is part of the plan to cut the army by a fifth, to 82,000, by the year 2020. There could be a higher proportion of compulsory redundancies than in the first two rounds of cuts.

The plan is to increase the army reserve to fill the gap. Last year the government announced that reservist numbers were to be doubled to 30,000 by 2018.

But some Conservative MPs are worried that will not work.

John Baron, MP for Basildon and Billericay, served as an army officer in the Second Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

Speaking to The World At One, he said: "There is a real concern that we're losing regular troops without knowing for sure that the reservists can step up to the mark and fill the gap.

"We need to make sure that we've got as many eventualities covered as possible. Running down the regular army to the extent we are, a number of us are very concerned."

  • 22 Jan 2013