Thursday, August 5, 2021
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PMQs: Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer in explosive row over defence spending


Boris Johnson was forced to defend the Government over defence spending today during an explosive Prime Minister’s Questions.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tore into the Prime Minister’s record on defence during a rowdy exchange in the Commons.

Sir Keir accused the PM of “playing with the numbers” and said: “He knows very well that the numbers have been cut.”

He added: “The trouble is, you just can’t trust the Conservatives to protect our armed forces.”

The comment sparked uproar from the Tory benches, with speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle intervening: “Order! I’m struggling to hear the leader of the opposition and I will hear the leader of the opposition. So please I want the same respect to the Prime Minister as respect for the leader of the opposition .”

Sir Keir Starmer asked why Mr Johnson promised at the last election not to cut the armed forces in “any form” but was now reducing the size of the Army by 10,000 troops to 72,500 by 2025.

The Prime Minister replied: “This Conservative Government is massively proud of the investment that we have made in our armed forces which, as I say, is the biggest uplift since the Cold War.”

He conceded they had to make some “tough decisions” but added: “That is because we believe in our defences and we believe that they should be more than merely symbolic.”


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