CAROLINE CALLS ON PM TO PROTECT DEFENCE INDUSTRY

Local MP Caroline Dinenage today called on David Cameron to express his commitment to protecting the defence industry during Prime Minister's Questions.

Caroline asked:

"In Gosport we have a very proud history of supporting the Armed Forces and the recent £420m contract to service the Chinook helicopter fleet will help local companies like Vector Aerospace to preserve those links.

With that in mind, will the Prime Minister reassure us of his commitment to defence spending, to the defence industry, defence procurement and defence jobs?"

The Prime Minister replied:

"I can certainly make that commitment and we have said that the £160 billion equipment programme over the next decade is fully protected, will grow in real terms and having been recently to Portsmouth to see for myself the new docks that are being put in to welcome the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier and the massive investment that will go into Portsmouth in terms of ship servicing and of course her own constituency of Gosport will benefit from this Chinook contract, a new order of Chinooks, pumping money into our defence industry and also leading to the training of apprentices and jobs and livelihoods for many years to come."

Speaking outside the Chamber, Caroline said:

"Here in Gosport we take great pride in our strong links to the military but unfortunately, our economy has been greatly affected by historic fluctuations the Defence budget. I welcome the Prime Minister's comments and hope to see even more investment in our local defence industry in the future."

Today's question follows on from a speech which Caroline made in Parliament earlier this month in which she emphasised the need to hit the Government's target of spending 2% of our GDP on Defence.