Army reservists plan queried

Former Defence Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind said there is a "serious question mark" over the Government's plan to plug the gap left by Army cuts by increasing the numbers of part-time soldiers.

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Army Reserves plan 'puts UK security at risk'

Labour has urged the Government to put planned Army cuts on hold, saying they will put the nation's security "at risk".

Shadow Defence Secretary Vernon Coaker, responding to comments made by former Defence Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind on Army cuts, said:

This out-of-touch Government is ignoring the pleas of former Defence Secretaries, ex-Chiefs of the Defence Staff and serving senior military and Ministry of Defence personnel, all of whom are warning that the nation's security is being put at risk if these cuts to the regular Army continue without adequate uplift in the Reserves.

The current Defence Secretary should listen to the growing number of voices supporting Labour's position, and pause any cuts in Army numbers until it is clear that Reserve recruitment can meet the required target.

– Vernon Coaker MP

'Serious question mark' over Army reservist plan

Former Defence Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind said there is a "serious question mark" over the Government's plan to plug the gap left by Army cuts by increasing the numbers of part-time soldiers.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind was Defence Secretary between 1992 and 1995. Credit: Andreas Gebert/DPA

The Conservatives have pledged to cut the size of the Army by 20,000 while doubling the size of the Army Reserves to 30,000 by 2018.

Former Tory cabinet minister Rifkind told the Telegraph: "The plan is very ambitious. There is a serious question mark about whether it's deliverable. I can certainly see it as being very challenging."

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