New Forest East


[Mr Speaker: I call the good doctor, Dr Julian Lewis.]

Dr Julian Lewis: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I am pleased that the Secretary of State mentioned HMS Albion in an earlier answer. Does she recall that it is not that many months since her predecessor had to fend off moves to scrap HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark and to reduce the size of the Army by 11,000, the Royal Marines by 2,000 and the RAF by 1,250? Does she accept that there is a fight to be had with the real enemy here, and that is the Treasury?

[The Secretary of State for Defence (Penny Mordaunt): I should declare an interest, as HMS Bulwark was the last ship I served on. I am very glad that she and Albion are still going. We are approaching a spending review, and I think we need to do more to tell the Treasury and the nation how much defence brings to this country – to the prosperity agenda, social mobility, research and development, innovation, and many other things. We need to tell that story because we need to keep our Armed Forces strong.

Mr Speaker: When the Treasury is up against the right hon. Gentleman, they ought to know when they are beaten. I say that having known him for 36 years in October.]