I’ll boost defence spending on day one as PM – as a former soldier I’ll never scrimp on our national security | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack

LAST month the government promised to increase defence spending to 2.5 per cent of GDP.

This is not enough. And anyone who says otherwise is either naive or has been captured by Treasury orthodoxy.


Tom Tugendhat is running to be the next Prime MinisterCredit: Alamy

That is why on day one as Prime Minister I will increase investment in our national security.

As part of my 10-year plan for growth, I will commit to spending 3 per cent of GDP improving keeping our country safe and working with our allies to fight threats.

That means up to an extra £18bn per year that spent well would boost manufacturing and provide the brave men and women of our armed forces and intelligence services with the funding they need to keep our country safe.

We must plan for the future. An uncertain and challenging future where unfortunately rough men wish us violence.

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The UK is facing the most severe national security threats since Nazi Germany.

The tyrant, Vladimir Putin, is waging an illegal war in Ukraine, murdering men, women and children and forcing of tens of thousands of people from their homes.

Meanwhile China is making threatening noises towards Taiwan while the Taliban once again control the streets of Afghanistan.

While these conflicts seem far from our doors, be in no doubt they affect us all. Higher energy and food bills, cyber security attacks on our critical infrastructure, theft of intellectual property.

These are the prices we pay for being unable to protect ourselves.

Yet despite this clear and present danger, the amount of money we are spending on defence remains pitifully low.

Our armed forces – men and women who I am proud to have fought alongside – are being let down.

There are roughly 50,000 fewer people serving in uniform now than when I joined in 2000.

Astonishingly, current plans are to cut that number even further and reduce our army by another 10,000 soldiers. That’s not to mention the stocks of ammunition kept dangerously low by penny pinching bean counters.

This is wrong and dangerous.

Unfortunately our enemies aren’t just in Moscow, they are also in Mayfair.

The Government has been far too slow to protect us from the threat to our security posed by foreign millionaires from hostile states.

I have been warning the government for five years about the threat posed to our country by bankers and lawyers dependent on Russian oligarchs.

The war in Ukraine is slowly waking us from this slumber, but even the last five months have seen little action to protect our nation.

We must never scrimp on protecting the nation. I will always put our families’ security ahead of Treasury spreadsheets.

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