BAE to cut 1,300 jobs

BAE Systems is making more than 1,300 staff redundant in response to defence spending cuts.

The move – characterised by trade unions as "a tragedy for Britain" yesterday – will affect workers in eight locations across the country and follows cancellation of the Nimrod surveillance plane and Harrier fighter jet programmes. The group's site at Warton in Lancashire will be worst affected.

BAE Systems's Kevin Taylor said the company has "taken time to understand the implications" of the Strategic Defence Review published by the Government in October.

"Today's announcement is designed to ensure we remain competitive," Mr Taylor said.

Bernie Hamilton, at the trade union Unite, said: "The Coalition Government's Christmas present to over a thousand skilled workers who support Britain's armed forces is the sack. This is a tragedy for the workforce and for Britain."