Labour Shadow Minister refuses to back defence spending target

Labour Shadow Minister refuses to back defence spending target
Gabrielle Wilde

By Gabrielle Wilde

Published: 25/04/2024

- 11:12

The Shadow Financial Secretary would not match the PM' pledge to increase defence spending

The Shadow Financial Secretary has refused to commit to the Prime Minister’s pledge to increase defence spending to 2.5% of GDP by 2030.

James Murray told GB News: “You're absolutely right, that we want to get to 2.5%. What we said is that in order to set out the pathway of how we get there, we need to be in government.

“Because it's right though the Opposition doesn't know all of the details about defence, about all of the information of the Ministry of Defence and so on, which is why we said that if we get in, we will initiate a Strategic Defence and Security Review, to establish the threats to work out what we need to invest in to keep the nation safe.

“That alongside the spending review, seeing what financial situation, what financial mess we would inherit if we did win the next general election, then we can set out our pathway to that 2.5%.

“It's a clear commitment to get to the 2.5%. But it's being responsible as well…”

He added: “The Government hasn’t set out their spending plans up to 2030. If the Government wants to publish their spending plan to 2030 and explain how they're going to get there, then we'll look at them, of course.

“At the moment, people are keen as well to judge the Government by their record because they have been in power for 14 years.

“Over £15 billion has been wasted on mismanaged defence procurement since 2010. We know how much the Army has been reduced.

“People I think will look at the Government's record over the last 14 years, when considering how much they can trust any of the promises they're making…

“When it comes to something as important as defence, this is not something you want to make final decisions on from a position of opposition, where you don't have access to all that information.

“It’s the responsible thing to do to keep us safe, to say we would have this security review if we got into government, and on the basis of that made sure we were spending and investing what is needed to keep us safe.”


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