Labour steps up fight as 'party of defence'

Labour steps up fight as the party of defence
Labour steps up fight as the party of defence

By Oliver Hotham

Labour is launching its 'shadow defence review' in a fresh attempt to draw attention to the government's defence cuts.

Its consultation document, 21st Century Defence, evaluates the threats to Britain's national security and defends Labour's record on the issue.

It assesses what values should guide Britain's defence, and what the impact the proposed policies would have on the military's structure.


The report criticised the prime minister for his "ambivalence" towards defence policy, which it contrasted with former prime ministers Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair.

Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy said this mornig the government lacks a long-term vision when it comes to defence policy.

"Britain needs a defence policy which can keep up. It must be flexible and agile, with new and wide-ranging capabilities," he said.

“It must prioritise coalition-building, be attuned to the threats and trends of the future and co-ordinate defence with development and diplomacy.

"The government's rushed review has been driven by savings not strategy. The government did not match ends with means, precipitated strategic shrinkage by stealth and has left us with dangerous capability gaps."

Labour is pushing its attack on the government's defence policy, portraying itself as the party strong on defence as the government faces strong criticism for its upcoming defence cuts.

It was recently suggested that cuts will diminish Britain's military capacity overseas and impede the potential for humanitarian intervention.

It has been argued that many of the activities conducting in last year's intervention in Libya would not have been possible had the proposed cuts taken place. 

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