Protest against defence cuts

A vigil has taken place in Newcastle in protest at proposed cuts to the Army, one of several demonstrations taking place around the UK.

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  1. Ben Chapman

Full report: Silent protest against defence cuts

Army veterans and the families of serving soldiers have been holding a vigil in protest at what they say are damaging cuts to the armed forces. They made their voices heard, by standing in silence - at Newcastle's central war memorial.

The government wants to shrink the Army by twenty thousand soldiers nationwide, and cut seventeen units, including one with strong ties to the North East.

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Call to save local regiment

Major Chester Potts, Chairman of the Northumberland Fusiliers Association, explains why veterans are campaigning against the loss of the regiment's 2nd Battalion. It'll disappear under government plans to reduce the size of the Army.

Veterans of the regiment held a vigil in protest at the cuts this morning.

Veterans campaign to save local regiment

North East veterans protest against government plans to cut Army numbers. Credit: ITV

Veterans of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers held a silent protest in Newcastle at government plans to cut Army numbers. The proposals include cutting the regiment's 2nd Battalion, which has strong ties to the North East.

The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers was amalgamated into the Royal Regiment in 1968, but still recruits heavily from the region.

The government's cuts would see the Army reduced by 20,000 soldiers and 17 units.

Government cuts to Armed Forces 'regrettable'

The Minister of State for Armed Forces, Nick Harvey, hasresponded to protests across the country against defence cuts by saying that the government has taken 'no pleasure' in the decision.

A total of 61 silent vigils took place at war memorials across the country today, including in Newcastle.

The Minister went on to say that while the cuts (which come under as part of a government spending review) were 'regrettable', they have been made with great attention to detail to ensure that the forces remain in a state of balance for the future.

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Silent protest held at Newcastle war memorial

One minutes silence was held at 11am in silent protests against defence cuts. Credit: ITV News

Veterans and serving soldiers' families hold a silent protest at Newcastle's war memorial over proposed cuts to soldier numbers and Army units.

The vigil is one of 61 events happening across the UK today.

The protest in Newcastle is one of 61 vigil's being held across the country. Credit: ITV News

Peace vigils in protest against defence cuts

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

61 protests will take place around the country in the form of a minutes silence at 11am. In the north east the vigil is being held next to the war memorial in Newcastle.

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

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  • Veterans' silent fight

    Army veterans and the families of serving soldiers hold a vigil to protest against cuts to the armed forces, including a local battalion.