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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 July, 2004, 11:19 GMT 12:19 UK
MP challenges RAF closure savings
RAF fighter
Mr Kidney says investment is going into the technical end
The Government has been accused of exaggerating the savings to be made by closing down the air support unit at RAF Stafford.

The town's Labour MP, David Kidney, says the original review claimed over 1bn would be saved by a relocation to RAF Wittering in Cambridgeshire.

Mr Kidney says he has now been told by Defence Secretary Adam Ingram it is now likely to be nearer to 230m.

It was announced on Friday that 450 jobs will be moved in a defence review.

'Contracting staff'

Mr Kidney said the minister can still not say exactly how many civilian posts will be lost by the relocation.

He told BBC Radio Stoke: "I think this week's announcement throws into sharp focus the pressure under which we're operating in Stafford.

"The RAF is contracting in terms of numbers of staff as more and more investment goes into the hardware at the very technical end such as new fighters and so on."

He added: "This emphasises the pressure we're all under in trying to keep the RAF in places where it has traditionally been."

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