Harriers almost came back for Libya

Jets were mothballed in spending review. Picture: Getty
Jets were mothballed in spending review. Picture: Getty
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THE government yesterday admitted that it had considered bringing back one of its aircraft carriers and the Harrier jump jets for the Libya operations.

In a response to the defence select committee’s report on the Libya conflict, the government suggested it thought about reversing its decision to mothball the carriers and Harriers in the strategic defence and spending review (SDSR). The reponse also said that the National Transitional Council, which led the anti-Gaddafi forces, could be subject to war crimes prosecutions if evidence emerged. The report said the conflict is expected to have cost £199 million, just £1m under the promised maximum total.

Labour defence committee member Thomas Docherty said: “This admission on the carrier is yet another example of the SDSR unravelling.”