Army ‘neglected’ over last 20 years, says Defence Secretary

Ben Wallace has called for increased spending on the armed forces.

Ben Wallace visit to BAE Govan shipyard
Ben Wallace visit to BAE Govan shipyard

The Defence Secretary has hit out at the “neglect” the Army has faced over the last 20 years.

Ben Wallace made the comments in an interview with The Sun, only a few weeks after Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced in the autumn statement that the defence budget will remain at least 2% of GDP.

Mr Wallace has long backed increased defence spending but ambitions have been apparently scaled back under Rishi Sunak’s new administration amid tough decisions on public spending.

His short-lived predecessor Liz Truss had pledged to spend 3% of GDP on defence by 2030.

Mr Wallace told the paper: “We’re investing £24 billion into the Army’s equipment programme between now and the end of the decade.

“That’s a lot of money. Because quite rightly, the Army needs to catch up.

“It has been neglected by quite a few people over the last two decades, I’d say at least. So it needs to be modernised.

“We need to rapidly look at the lessons of Ukraine because they have actually given us an opportunity to see not only where we’re vulnerable but actually have you got the balance of investment right within the Army.”

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