Page last updated at 16:27 GMT, Tuesday, 19 October 2010 17:27 UK

Cameron briefs MPs on strategic defence review

Prime Minister David Cameron has confirmed defence spending is to be cut by 8% in real terms over four years, resulting in job losses for thousands of service personnel.

Mr Cameron unveiled details of the the strategic defence review to MPs on 19 October 2010, revealing that RAF and Navy numbers would be reduced by 5,000 each, Army numbers by 7,000 and the Ministry of Defence would lose 25,000 civilian staff by 2015.

Nimrod reconnaissance planes would be axed and there will be fewer frigates and destroyers, he said.

Mr Cameron insisted the strategic defence and security review was "not simply a cost-saving exercise" but was designed to ensure that the UK was protected in the future.

He blamed Labour for leaving a "£38bn black hole" in defence spending plans.

But opposition leader Ed Miliband said the review had been "hastily prepared", arguing that the government's defence strategy was "simply not credible".

He said: "We will help the prime minister and his government as they seek to do what is best for our nation's security.

"But I do have to tell him many people believe this review is a profound missed opportunity.

"It is a spending review dressed up as a defence review, it has been chaotically conducted, it has been hastily prepared and it is simply not credible as a strategic blueprint for our future defence needs."

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