Local MP Caroline Dinenage has urged the Ministry of Defence to take a long-term view on Royal Navy aircraft carriers.
In the House of Commons today, the Gosport MP called on the Secretary of State for Defence to consider the full implications of altering the plans for the carriers. After stressing her constituency's proud naval heritage, she asked:
"Can the Minister give my constituents the reassurance that any decision about the future of the carriers will be taken in the interests of long-term costs and interoperability rather than short-term savings?"
Secretary of State Philip Hammond responded, saying:
"The honourable lady is absolutely right. That is exactly our intention and something that the previous Government singularly failed to do".
The question came following speculation that the MoD may alter plans to convert the aircraft carriers to carry Joint Strike Fighters. The MoD has stated that the assessment of the carrier plan is ongoing.
Speaking after the question, Caroline added:
"The MoD has made it clear that a final decision on the carriers and jets is ongoing, and I want to ensure that long-term strategic thinking is at the heart of that process. We simply cannot take the same disastrous, short-term approach to procurement that we witnessed under the last government, and I am gratified that the Secretary of State has taken this on board".