Armed Forces Minister says he'd quit if defence spending commitment were to change

18 October 2022, 09:18

Nick Ferrari puts Armed Forces Minister on the spot

By Sam Sholli

Armed Forces Minister James Heappey has confirmed that he would quit if the government were to change its mind on committing to 3% of GDP on defence spending by 2030.

It comes after the government mini-budget, which sent the markets into turmoil, has been overhauled following the appointment of new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

During her Tory leadership campaign, Liz Truss pledged to increase defence spending to 3% of GDP by the end of the decade.

Nick asked Mr Heappey: "Talking about economics, does the government still support the 3% lift of GDP on defence spending by 2030?

"Yes," Mr Heappey replied.

After pointing out that a Secretary of State has said he'd quit if that were changed, Nick asked the Minister: "Would you join him?"

Mr Heappey responded: "Yes."

READ MORE: 'We'll tighten law to stop UK pilots training Chinese air crews to defeat Western fighter jets', minister tells LBC

Seeking clarification, Nick asked: "You would quit?"

In response, Mr Heappey said: "Yes, I mean but no-one has said, Nick, that 3% is not going to happen by 2030."

Nick then asked: "But you would quit if there was any alteration on that in this next budget."

Mr Heappey replied: "Yes. We need to be spending 3% of our GDP on the defence of our nation by 2030, because there is no prosperity without security. Let's be clear on that.

"And I don't think that that is an argument that needs to be made or won around government.

"I think everybody understands that - that we are living in a world that is more unstable, more insecure and that if we want our nation to prosper we have to invest in the tools to keep our nation safe."

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