Philip Hammond stresses Trident support
Friday 21 October 2011
New Defence Secretary Philip Hammond insisted today he supports plans for the renewal of Britain's Trident nuclear deterrent.
Within days of his appointment to the role following the resignation of Liam Fox last Friday, industry experts raised fears Mr Hammond would rethink the programme as he had failed to back it in Parliament.
The new generation of missile-carrying submarines is expected to cost up to £25 billion in cash terms and the first of the four replacement submarines is planned to enter service in 2028.
Asked if he wanted Trident to be renewed, Mr Hammond told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Yes, that is clear."
"I am absolutely committed to the Trident programme and always have been.
"I heard this story earlier in the week and I think the issue was that I was actually out on a visit on the route of the high-speed railway proposal when the vote was taken in Parliament.
"Had I been there I would have voted in favour."
Dr Fox had indicated he would resign if Trident was ditched, as Lib Dems wanted, while he was still in post but the "main gate" decision was pushed back to 2016.
Mr Hammond also insisted that defence cuts would not prevent Britain having a "viable" armed forces.
He said: "We have had to make some serious budget cuts. My predecessor has successfully negotiated with the Treasury a settlement that will allow the UK to continue to project force abroad, to continue to have viable and sustainable armed forces in the future.
"Over the next 10 years we will be spending £165 billion on military equipment and equipment support and this is a major investment."
He added: "We have demonstrated during the course of the Libya campaign our ability to mount a significant operation while simultaneously fighting a major engagement in Afghanistan."
- 1 VMAs 2015: Was Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus' awkward acceptance put-down real or staged?
- 2 If you're not already angry about the migrant crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
- 3 Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
- 4 I like Corbyn, but let's face it: we don't need another white man at the head of a political party
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
VMAs 2015: Was Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus' awkward acceptance put-down real or staged?
Bank Holiday Monday opening times: Are Tesco, Asda and other supermarkets open today?
Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
The nine most warmongering countries in the world revealed
VMAs 2015: Kanye West runs for president, Nicki Minaj calls out Miley Cyrus and the list of winners in full
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...
£8000 - £12000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An exceptional opportunity has arisen for a pa...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This provider of designer kitch...