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Ex RAF head warns Cameron to guarantee minimum level of defence spending

The former head of the RAF has said that David Cameron must guarantee a minimum level of defence spending.

Before the election neither the Conservatives nor Labour committed to meeting the 2 per cent target beyond 2015/16 after the next defence spending review.

Sir Michael Graydon said that any prime minister who wanted to be “remembered as a statesman” should take the opportunity to commit to maintaining the Nato target of spending a minimum of 2% of national income on defence [1].

Liz Kendall, one of the main contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party, said the party should commit to the Nato target of spending at least 2 per cent of national income on defence.

According to the BBC, Ex-Army chief General Sir Peter Wall said the prime minister had promised more spending when the economy improved.

Sir Peter said the “significant reduction” in the defence budget had been made “against the expectation and an undertaking that the budget would increase when the economy started to turn the corner and improve”[2].

A senior US general told the BBC that it was imperative that Britain finds the money to spend on its armed forces, and that he is worried about the impact of recent defence cuts.

The Financial Times has reported that Downing Street is seeking to “pad out” defence spending by looking to include other areas of expenditure.

It said that Mr Cameron had asked ministers to investigate whether the budget for the country’s intelligence agencies could be included towards the NATO target.