General Election 2019: Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn Answers Defence Questions

The General Election is less than a month away.

Before voters head to the polls on Thursday 12 December, we have been asking politicians questions on defence.

Forces News sat down with Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to discuss military issues ahead of the 2019 election.

Will defence spending increase or decrease?

Were he to become prime minister, Jeremy Corbyn told Forces News the amount of government spending assigned to defence would remain at 2% of national income.

"We think that is a reasonable figure – but we'd also configure it differently, in terms of raising Armed Forces pay and also looking at the levels of equipment," he said.

Supplies for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) and for frigates were highlighted as priority cases by the Labour leader.

Mr Corbyn also said focus would be put on giving personnel more support to prepare them for civilian life and also providing assistance after they have left service.

What are the UK’s biggest threats?

Mr Corbyn started by saying he wants "to see a strategic defence review when we go into office", but Mr Corbyn went on to establish what he believes to be the more pressing "issues around the world".

He detailed the "massive" and "unpredictable" effects of climate change – leading to "huge refugee flows" and "economic disruption".

Mr Corbyn also listed "irrational acts of terrorism, some of which have grown out of war - such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya".

"The third is the one of our cyber security, which we had more than a whiff of in 2017 – when there was a disruption created to our national health service by a cyber-attack."

Cyber security was listed among the UK's biggest defence issues (Picture: Crown Copyright).
Cyber security was listed among the UK's biggest defence issues (Picture: Crown Copyright).

Why should the Armed Forces vote for Labour?

When Jeremy Corbyn was asked why voters from the UK’s military should trust him as prime minister, he responded by saying his first priority upon election would be to "keep everybody safe".

Also on the list of priorities would be to assess worldwide issues that can cause "danger and insecurity".

In reference to the previously mentioned terror and cyber threats, Mr Corbyn pledged to look at the "breeding ground in which that terrorism arises".

"I, as everyone knows, opposed the intervention in Iraq in 2003," he stated.

"I said, 'This war has a danger of incalculable consequences, of creating the terrorism of tomorrow, the refugee flows of tomorrow and the hatred of tomorrow, which will lead into further conflict'."

Mr Corbyn continued by pledging to strive toward improving existing human right abuses and existing "tensions between minorities in particular countries".

Want your defence questions to be answered?

You can send a video of yourself asking a question to [email protected] - be sure to include your name and your link to the military, film your question horizontally and look directly at the camera.

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