Tory storms face MoD's weather forecasters

Britain's weather forecasters face being sold off under Tory plans to save money, said the shadow defence secretary, Liam Fox. He said the Met Office, now owned by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), could be privatised to save cash if the Conservatives win power.

The party aims to cut MoD costs by a quarter and Mr Fox told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show yesterday that there was a "very strong case" for disposal of MoD assets. Asked how a Tory government would cut costs, he said: "It's also big structures like the fact the MoD owns the Met Office, with all the costs, salaries, pensions. There's a very strong case to look at the assets of the MoD and say, 'Do these deliver anything for the front line?'"

The organisation was founded in 1854 and was first a department within the Board of Trade before being swallowed by the MoD. The Tories have asked civil servants to create a blueprint for slashing MoD costs by 25 per cent.

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