Armed Forces Minister James Heappey (Picture: MOD).
Armed Forces Minister James Heappey (Picture: MOD).
Politics

Heappey says he'll quit if Government U-turns on defence spending

Armed Forces Minister James Heappey (Picture: MOD).
Armed Forces Minister James Heappey (Picture: MOD).

Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said he would quit if new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt backed down on the Government's defence spending pledge.

Mr Heappey said the Government still backs the spending target, but asked if he would quit in the face of a U-turn, he told LBC: "Yeah.

"But no-one has said that 3% is not going to happen by 2030."

He insisted he would quit if that changed though, saying: "Yeah, we need to be spending 3% of our GDP on defence of our nation by 2030 because there is no prosperity without security."

During her campaign to run for the Tory Party leadership, Liz Truss pledged to increase defence spending from current levels of around 2% of GDP, to 3% by 2030.

The Royal United Services Institute said it would be the most significant increase since the early 1950s.

The Chair of the Defence Select Committee Tobias Ellwood said the Prime Minister's defence spending commitment is "great to hear", but hopes it will reverse some of the cuts outlined in the Integrated Review.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has been tipped as a potential successor to Liz Truss, but told The Times: "I want to be the Secretary of State for Defence until I finish.

"I love the job I do and we have more to do. I want the Prime Minister to be the Prime Minister and I want to do this job."