MoD set to axe hundreds more soldiers under 'hugely damaging' plans to cut army to just 82,000, claim MPs
The Ministry of Defence is considered cutting hundreds of full-time soldiers, Tory MPs claimThe regular Army has already reduced to its weakest strength since before the Napoleonic WarsNumbers are proposed to shrink to 82,000 soldiers by 2015
22:30 GMT, 8 December 2012
Hundreds more full-time soldiers are to go under controversial proposals being considered by the Ministry of Defence, two Tory MPs claimed last night.
The regular Army has already been reduced to its weakest strength since before the Napoleonic Wars under cuts announced earlier this year, with proposals to shrink its size to 82,000 soldiers by 2015.
Now MPs Patrick Mercer and John Baron – both former Army officers – predict that economic pressures make further reductions inevitable in 2016 and 2017.
Controversial: The Ministry of Defence are proposing cutting hundreds more full-time soldiers, Tory MPs claim, at a time when the regular Army has already been reduce to its weakest strength since before the Napoleonic Wars
Mr Mercer, a Colonel in the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters before becoming an MP, believes two infantry and cavalry regiments could be targeted.
He said: ‘I understand the cuts will take the regular Army below the currently projected baseline figure of 82,000, which would be hugely damaging.’
Mr Baron, a former Royal Regiment of Fusiliers officer, said plans to reduce the number of full-time soldiers and increase the number of reservists from 15,000 to 30,000 were ‘mistakes’.
The MoD said: ‘This unhelpful speculation is completely unsubstantiated.’
Won't stop there: MPs Patrick Mercer (right) and John Baron (left) – both former Army officers – predict that economic pressures make further reductions inevitable in 2016 and 2017