CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

BUSINESS QUESTION – HARRIER JUMP JETS – 27 January 2011

Dr Julian Lewis: May we have a statement from the Defence Secretary on the possibility of preserving a proportion of the withdrawn Harrier jump jets on the basis that, over 10 years, some form of conflict might arise unexpectedly, in which the versatility of those valuable aircraft would be needed?

[The Leader of the House of Commons (Sir George Young): There will be an opportunity on Monday to raise that matter with the Secretary of State for Defence. I understand that following the strategic defence and security review, the Harrier aircraft were retired from service on 15 December, and that at the moment, there are no plans to retain them as a reserve or emergency capability. The decision to retire the fleet was agreed collectively by the service chiefs. As I said, my hon. Friend will have an opportunity on Monday to share his concerns with my right hon. Friend the Defence Secretary.]