- 13 updates
Monmouth MP David Davies, who chairs the Commons' Welsh Affairs committee, has written to the Defence Secretary over the way the Welsh army has been affected by Army cuts. In particular he raises concerns about the decision to axe a battalion of the Royal Welsh.
In his letter, Mr Davies tells the Defence Secretary, Phillip Hammond that he and MPs on the committee want answers to the following concerns.
A group of Welsh veterans says they intend to challenge the decision to merge Second Battalion the Royal Welsh with the 1st Battalion.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond says an Army shake-up will create a 'balanced, capable and adaptable force.'
The head of the Army in Wales has told ITV Wales' Andrea Benfield that the cuts to the Army will mean 2,000 fewer soldiers from Wales.
Brigadier Philip Napier said the merging of the two Royal Welsh battalions into one, is the price that has had to be paid to secure the future of all of Wales' regiments.
A senior Welsh Conservative backbench MP has raised the possibility that the loss of the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Welsh, was motivated by political considerations. Monmouth MP David Davies, who chairs the Welsh Select Committee wants to know why the battalion, which is at full strength, was chosen.
Shadow Welsh Secretary, Owen Smith, has asked the Secretary of State, Cheryl Gillan, if her Conservative colleague's fears are groundless. The other Welsh regiments, the Welsh Guards and the Queen's Dragoon Guards, escaped the cuts despite fears about the dragoons, known as the 'Welsh Cavalry'.
Amidst the announcements of cuts to the army, there's one piece of good news for Wales, according to Vale of Glamorgan MP Alun Cairns. He was told by the Defence Secretary that that a new RAF support squadron which is being formed is 'likely' to be based at the St. Athan site. Alun Cairns said:
A source close to the Secretary of State for Wales has condemned comments made by her Labour shadow in response to today's defence cuts. The source told me that Cheryl Gillan found Owen Smith's remarks (that 'her support wasn't worth a pitcher of warm spit') 'disgusting' adding that,
Labour's Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith says the army cuts highlight the failure of Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan to defend Wales' interests. Mr Smith said:
Hazel Hunt, the mother of the 200th Soldier to die in Afghanistan, says that plans to withdraw the 2nd Battalion Royal Welsh have let the soldiers down. Richard Hunt was serving with the battalion when he was killed in 2009.
Mrs Hunt said that the decision by the UK Government has left her beyond rage after all the sacrifices the members of the battalion have made.
First Minister Carwyn Jones says that today's decision by the UK Government to withdraw the 2nd Battalion Royal Welsh is hugely disappointing news for the soldiers involved.
He said the Royal Welsh had already been through a major amalgamation in 2006 and that he could only imagine the impact that this latest blow will have on the morale of the whole regiment which has always been a source of pride to us citizens of Wales.
Latest ITV News reports
2nd Battalion the Royal Welsh will be withdrawn from service and amalgamated with 1st the Royal Welsh by Autumn 2013.
Army regiments in Wales are set to learn if they will be affected by defence cuts being made across the UK.