Britain’s fight against terrorism is set to get a cash boost, escaping George Osborne’s £11.5 billion cuts to public expenditure.
MI6, MI5 and Government Communications Headquarters will see a £100 million annual increase in their combined £11.9bn budget from 2015 as the Government looks to combat the growing terrorist threat from sub-Saharan Africa and Syria, as well as the rise of cyber terrorism.
The Chancellor is thought to have contacted the heads of the UK’s security agencies on Friday to inform them that they would be spared the Spending Review axe.
“This has been one of George’s personal priorities,” a Whitehall source told the Daily Telegraph. “It is vitally important we look after these budgets and they were settled last week with agreement at the very highest level.”
The security services came under criticism following Drummer Lee Rigby’s murder in Woolwich.
Both suspects, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, had been known to MI5 for a period of eight years, but they were assessed as peripheral figures.
Earlier this week, reports warned that the security forces were overworked. Labour MP Hazel Blears told The Sun: “They are under immense pressure to ensure they have significant coverage of terrorists’ actions and keep us safe.
“It is crucial to ensure that they have enough resources to ensure plots directed against this country can be detected.”