Blair has neglected our troops – Lib Dems
Commenting ahead of Tony Blair’s speech on the future of the British Armed Forces, Cornwall’s five Liberal Democrat MPs today (Friday) said that the Prime Minister’s legacy to our troops would be one of “unnecessary, unjustified deployment and woeful neglect of their welfare.”
The outgoing Premier is expected to attempt to defend his multibillion pound plan, (supported by the Conservatives), to commit to replacing the Trident Nuclear System ten years earlier than necessary.
Commenting, North Cornwall’s MP, Dan Rogerson said:
“Instigating a “national debate” sounds much like a convenient distraction from Tony Blair’s woeful record on the armed forces.
“Nearly 130 British soldiers have now died in the tragic conflict in Iraq, which has left the country in tatters, and threatened the peace and security of the entire region.
“And Tony Blair’s government did not even send our troops with adequate protective equipment. As the tragic death of a North Cornwall man, Sergeant Steven Roberts, has proved conclusively, over 2,000 soldiers were sent without vital Enhanced Combat Body Armour. Why? Because the Government wanted to hide its premature decision to go to war.
“Even this week, a Defence Minister has insisted that was the right decision.”
Matthew Taylor, MP for Truro and St Austell added:
“Last month Tony Blair announced plans to spend billions on replacing Trident ten years before we need to. If we really want to encourage countries like Korea and Iran to give up their nuclear ambitions we should offer to halve the number of Trident warheads, and wait to decide whether a replacement is necessary in the light of future developments.
“This would free up billions of pounds to make sure our troops have the right equipment for the tasks they face today, and would also provide more money for vital services like the NHS.
“If the Americans don’t believe Trident needs replacing yet, why on Earth does the Prime Minister?"