Sentamu attacks UK defence cuts as risking 'the safety of the nation'


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The Independent Online

The Archbishop of York condemned the Government’s defence policy yesterday when he said cuts were putting the “safety of the nation and the peace of the world” at risk.

Dr John Sentamu was particularly critical of ministers for replacing full-time soldiers with reservists who for all their bravery cannot be as well trained as full-time soldiers.

In an interview with the British Forces Broadcasting Service the Archbishop said: “My greatest anxiety… is that these defence cuts need to be done with far, far greater sensitivity because we live still in a world that is very fragile and there are people out there still wanting to do harm to… many, many people.

“To replace professionally trained, full-time serving soldiers with part-timers, I’m afraid, for me, I don’t think that can be the backbone of the British Army. I know the phrase is, ‘We are all in this together,’ but it shouldn’t mean risking the safety of the nation and the peace of the world by severe cuts.”