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  1. ITV Report

HMS Bulwark and HMS Albion saved by Government

The Defence Secretary has announced that the government will save HMS Bulwark and HMS Albion at the Conservative Party Conference.

This ends months of speculation that they could be retired early to save money.

Gavin Williamson MP told attendees that the two Plymouth-based amphibious assault ships deliver the "punch of the Royal Marines". He acknowledge the ships' roles including putting troops from sea to land quickly and delivering aid.

HMS Bulwark and HMS Albion were said to be under threat as the government looks at how military forces deal with current threats against this country, but today they have been saved.

I'm happy to confirm that I will be protecting the vital landing platforms HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark. We need them.

– Gavin Williamson MP, Defence Secretary
The Defence Secretary has announced he will save the Devonport-based amphibious assault ships. Credit: PA Images

MPs from across the South West have told ITV News that this is good news and something they have been campaigning for for some time.

What this news has shown is that the government are committed to a strong naval base in Devonport. They are committed to the job in Plymouth and south east Cornwall that that naval base provide.

– Sheryll Murray MP, Con, South East Cornwall

Labour says the announcement has been a long time coming but questions where the money will come from to save the two ships.

HMS Albion has been saved from early retirement. Credit: PA Images