More civilian cuts at the MoD

By staff

A further 7,000 civilian jobs are to go at the Ministry of Defence (MoD), a leaked letter suggests.

Permanent secretary Ursula Brennan wrote to staff explaining that the cutbacks were in addition to those announced by defence secretary Liam Fox to parliament, the Guardian reported.

"In the SDSR we planned for… a 25% reduction in the cost of civilian personnel by 2015, bringing the size of the MoD civil service down to a total of some 60,000 civilian posts," she wrote.

"As part of the package announced last week we need to make further reductions in … civilian manpower. For civilians, we will be extending the earlier planned reductions, coming down to a total of 53,000 civilians by 2020."

The MoD, which faces a period of intensive internal reform and a departmental budget cut of eight per cent, is struggling to keep its finances in order after the decisions made in last year's strategic defence and security review.

Ms Brennan acknowledged to staff that the reduction in numbers would "raise questions which cannot be answered immediately".

It emerged last month that the MoD plans to cut its staff by 25,000 over a four-year period, with 8,000 jobs going this year.

Prospect union national secretary Steve Jary had previously told the Guardian that the MoD had succumbed to "short-termism gone mad".