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Vigils to be held across UK in protest of defence cuts

Peace vigils are to be held across the UK today in protest of planned defence cuts.

Earlier this month Defence Secretary Philip Hammond announced major defence restructuring plans that will see the Army lose 17 units.

Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh, during a homecoming parade following a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Credit: Press Association.

Vigils, which are being organised by a Facebook group, will take place at cities, including Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Manchester, Newcastle, Cardiff, Southampton and at the Cenotaph in central London.

MoD hit back at cuts criticism

The MoD's financial black hole was such a threat that we had to get on with reducing our civilian headcount. We had to make tough decisions to get our finances back into balance and this included a plan to reduce the Civil Service by 32,000 by 2020 to ensure we can deliver more resources to the front line. We are now transforming Defence to create a smaller, more efficient, professional Ministry of Defence that is back in balance.

– Defence Equipment Minister Peter Luff

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MPs criticise Mod defence cut plans

The Ministry of Defence has gone ahead with cuts to its military and civilian workforce without a proper understanding of what skills it will need in the future.

We recognise that the MoD must make tough financial decisions if it is to reduce its spending by 7.5% a year by 2015, and that it has acted decisively.

But we are concerned that these cuts have been determined by the need to cut costs in the short term rather than by considering the MoD's strategic objectives in the long term and the skills it will need to deliver them successfully.

– Margaret Hodge MP, Chair, Committee of Public Accounts

Report warns Mod over proposed cuts

Britain's Ministry of Defence building in Whitehall Credit: reuters

A report published by the Public Accounts Committee has warned the MoD that they are cutting jobs unnecessarily. The document says that the Mod have their focus on short-term cost cutting and not long-term military needs.

The Committee also warned that the cuts may also fuel more spending on outside consultants, which has already soared from £6 million to £270 million in just four years

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