MP rebellion on army vote would 'hit morale'

A backbench Tory rebellion over plans to expand the Territorial Reserves would "hit morale among existing forces", hinder future recruitment and "confuse employers", the defence secretary has said.

MPs will vote on an amendment which would force future defence secretaries to report to Parliament on the "viability and cost effectiveness" of their plans and how they intend to implement them.They would need the approval of both the House of Commons and Lords to go ahead with plans.

I hope colleagues will support the Government in resisting John's amendment. To do otherwise will not only give a significant fillip to the Labour Party but more significantly would risk serious damage to our future armed forces.

Furthermore, there is a very significant risk that halting, or threatening to halt, the implementation of measures in the Reserves White Paper would hit morale among the existing reserve forces, confuse employers, and make future recruitment a much more difficult task.

– Defence secretary Philip Hammond