David Cameron has cofirmed that Michael Fallon is to remain Defence Secretary
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon says he has no regrets on his personal attack on Ed Miliband and called it part of the "rough and tumble of politics".
Fallon has been criticised by party leaders for saying the Labour leader "stabbed his brother in the back" over the pair's 2010 leadership contest and would do the same to Britain to get into power.
Asked today during a visit to the Royal United Services Institute if he regretted the comments he said "absolutely not" and said that voters have the right to know who was leading Labour.
ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship was there:
The Defence Secretary has praised Britain's armed forces for their work in fighting Islamic State (IS) extremists during a visit to Cyprus.
Michael Fallon told the 400 service personnel based at RAF Akrotiri he was "proud" of their role in helping the Iraqi government defend itself against the threat of IS.
"While this fight will take time, the coalition's air strikes are having a direct effect in supporting Iraqi ground operations against IS," Fallon said.
"In the north, areas around Mount Sinjar have been retaken, bringing relief to the local Yazidi population and applying pressure to IS forces in Mosul. In the south, Iraqi forces operations are beginning to push back ISIL."
Britain will not deploy combat troops to Ukraine, which is fighting pro-Russian separatists along its eastern flank, Michael Fallon told parliament.
"We are not deploying combat troops to Ukraine and will not do so," Fallon said when asked whether the deployment of military personnel would provoke so-called mission creep.
Britain is preparing to send 75 troops and military staff to help with training and is considering more Ukrainian requests for help, the Defence Secretary added.
Mr Fallon confirmed British personnel will be based around Kiev or in western Ukraine, away from the fighting in eastern Ukraine.
Supplying weapons to Ukraine would escalate the conflict with pro-Russian separatists, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has said.
The defence secretary backed fresh diplomatic efforts by the leaders of France and Germany to bring an end to the deadly conflict, which has claimed the lives of more than 5,000 people since April.
He also warned that Britain may have to update its nuclear deterrent in response to the Russian modernisation of its nuclear weapons.
Russian military planners may have "lowered the threshold" for the use of nuclear weapons, he added.
Military airfields, barracks and vehicles must be sold to ensure frontline forces are properly resourced, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon is to warn.
Mr Fallon will say today that despite efficiencies made over the past five years the job "is far from over", and the Government has to keep "sweating our buildings and lands" to make savings.
The Defence Secretary will insist that Britain needs to go further in "rationalising our defence estate".
"With continuing demands on our resources, with the cost of manpower and equipment rising, and with competition from emerging nations increasing efficiency in defence cannot be a one-off," he will say in a speech to the Institute for Government (IfG).
"Every year we should be looking to take out unnecessary cost, to improve productivity, and to sweat our buildings and land so we can better support the front line."
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has praised the professionalism of the RAF crew and NHS staff who transported an Ebola patient to London from Glasgow.
Two in three Britons agree with comments made by Michael Fallon that Britain is "swamped" by immigrants, a ComRes poll for ITV News has found.
However on a local level only 38% think their own area is "swamped."
The Defence Secretary was forced to apologise for the comments he made in October which said that some parts of the UK felt "under siege" from immigration.
The found survey found that:
- 64% of those questioned think Michael Fallon was right to say that Britain is “swamped” with immigrants, although just 38% think that their own local area is swamped (50% think not).
- 70% think the main reason immigrants come to Britain is because of the welfare system on offer, while half (52%) think that the only way Britain can significantly reduce immigration is by leaving the EU.
- Just one in five (22%) think that there is nothing the Government can realistically do to reduce immigration. 63% disagree.
ComRes interviewed 2,019 British adults online between 31st October and 2nd November 2014.
Former home secretary David Blunkett has said defence secretary Michael Fallon was right to speak out about immigration, despite the outcry over his use of the term "swamped".
His comments come after the prime minister distanced himself from the words used by Mr Fallon, saying politicians need to choose their language carefully when it comes to immigration.
Blunkett caused controversy himself when he used the same term when speaking on the issue 12 years ago.
Writing in the Daily Mail, he said: "Yet for all such condemnation, I believe that both Michael Fallon and I were right to speak out on this issue and voice the concerns of ordinary voters.
"Just because immigration is deeply controversial, that cannot mean that we should avoid talking about it."
He added: "What we need from all politicians is honesty and openness, not a desire for political point-scoring or displays of self-righteous importance."
Michael Fallon has told ITV News he was "rather careless" to claim some parts of the UK felt "under siege" from immigration.
But the Defence Secretary insisted there was an issue with large numbers of European migrants entering the UK and putting pressure on services.