Jack Straw questions army cuts as threats increase

Rising security threats present an “overwhelming case” for reviewing the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, a senior Labour figure said yesterday.

Jack Straw, who served in the Cabinet for all of Labour’s 13 years in office, said events in Algeria, Mali and elsewhere highlighted weaknesses in the SDSR, which has led to cuts in the armed forces – including a third tranche of army redundancies announced on Tuesday.

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But answering the query at Prime Minister’s Questions, David Cameron insisted Britain was focused on targeting its defence budget in the most effective ways possible.

Mr Cameron replied: “The risks are changing. But the overall point is absolutely, yes, we are going to have a smaller regular army, though the extra reserves will mean the overall level of our army hardly changes size.

“But they will be better equipped, more mobile, more capable of dealing with the modern threats that we face.”