Dr Julian Lewis: Since Ukraine was attacked by a robotic and cowardly psychopath we have been led by three rather varied Prime Ministers, but fortunately only one Defence Secretary. Will he confirm that 300 days into Putin’s criminal campaign our Government remain as resolutely committed to its defeat as they were on day one, and may we therefore anticipate a long overdue rise in the defence budget to 3% of GDP?
[The Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Ben Wallace): My right hon. Friend has been right for years about the threat posed by Russia, and as Defence Secretary I say he has been right for years about the funding for defence. But I am not the Prime Minister, or indeed the Chancellor, who has a difficult job of balancing the other demands on the public purse. However, I shall continue to fight for that 3%. On my right hon. Friend’s kind comments about continuity, may I say that the shadow Secretary of State has also been in a place of continuity, and that makes a difference. I hope party leaders recognise that the best way to get over all those stories about how the civil service does this or that is through continuity in office.]