British Army could be cut to just 50k over next four years

In News by redsocks

Defence budgets could be cut by up to another 10 per cent during the next parliament and leave the Army at its smallest for 250 years.

British Army could be decimated after next election Photo: Heathcliff O’Malley/The Telegraph

By Tom Whitehead, Rosa Prince and Ben Riley Smith

The British Army could be reduced to its smallest size in nearly 250 years, taking its overall troop level to just 50,000 soldiers, a former Government defence adviser has warned.

A report by the respected Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) suggests that defence budgets may be slashed by 10 per cent during the next parliament, shrinking personnel for the three Armed Forces by as many as 42,000.

Britain’s military appears once again in line for massive culls after the next general election because of the continuing austerity drive and a lack of commitment by any of the major parties to protect defence spending, Rusi said.

Downing Street has been forced to deny that David Cameron and George Osborne, the Chancellor, are at “loggerheads” over whether to maintain the Nato target of committing two per cent of the nation’s finances to defence.