Published on 19 Oct 2010

Harrier pilot challenges PM on job losses hours before defence review

Just the sort of thing you don’t want to happen on a photo op before your defence review.

One Harrier jet pilot, Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander Kris Ward, 37, said to the Prime Minister as he visited Permanent Joint HQ in Northwood: “I am a Harrier pilot and I have flown 140 odd missions in Afghanistan, and I am now potentially facing unemployment. How am I supposed to feel about that, please, sir?”

Mr Cameron thanked Lt Cdr Ward for “everything” he had done for his country.
“We do have to make decisions for the future and there have been long discussions about this in the National Security Council,” he said

Chatting to Tory MPs about the Defence Review on its way to us later today and there is real anger around. “A joke,” one said. “Imagine what we’d say if Gordon Brown announced this,” barked another.

A betrayal of what we’d been promised as the spirit of words I heard on Trident, which will be extended way beyond what we had been told was plausible only a few years ago. The savings I’m assured are netted and include the extra costs of maintaining old subs and keeping them at sea.

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One reader comment

  1. Saltaire Sam says:

    While I personally hope the delay of Trident will lead to the abolition of Trident, it is astonishing how much about face the tories are willing to indulge in.

    From condemning labour for not doing enough to support troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, they are dismantling large parts of our armed services. And Cameron’s incredibly patronising response to the Harrier pilot added insult to incredible injury with his incredible mumbling. Did his incredible repitition demonstrate how incredibly embarrassed he was?

    Now the party that ranted because labour released some prisoners a few days before their sentence was up, are planning to dismantle large parts of the justice service. Presumably prisons are about to be privatised. Either than or they are going to release thousands of prisoners or return to the kind of jails for which the country was notorious in the 19th century.

    Sometimes it seems that the only principle held by politicians from all three parties is ‘we want to be in power and will say or do anything to get there’

    Call me a naive sentimental fool but I don’t think it was always thus

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