Defence report must be published in full

The UK Government faces demands to immediately publish the Gray dossier on defence procurement after a Sunday newspaper published details of the suppressed report which reveals that Ministry of Defence systems for buying new equipment are so inefficient they are "harming our ability…to conduct difficult current operations.”

SNP Westminster leader and Defence spokesperson Angus Robertson MP seized on the report in the Sunday Times which reveals that the MoD's procurement programme was £35billion over budget and five years behind schedule. The newspaper also says the report's author Bernard Gray, a former government adviser, has branded the problems "endemic".

Mr Robertson said:

“Downing Street must immediately publish Bernard Gray’s report in full. The suggestion that MoD procurement systems are actually harming operational ability is extremely grave.

“At a time when Ministers faces fundamental questions about whether our forces in Afghanistan are getting the equipment they need it is absolutely unacceptable that this review is still being suppressed.

“Gordon Brown cannot dodge the serious questions that are mounting about equipment in Afghanistan. He is already exposed for saying there were enough helicopters only to have Bob Ainsworth contradict that claim by saying he was 'busting a gut' to get more helicopters into theatre.

“Speculation that the UK government is tens of billions over budget totally reignites the debate on Trident renewal. In just a few weeks Gordon Brown is set to sign-off £2bn worth of design work on these weapons of mass destruction. 

“People struggle to understand, at a time when budgets are tight across the armed forces and Scotland faces a £500 million budget cut from London, why the UK Government is ploughing billions of pounds into a new generation of unwanted and unnecessary nuclear weapons.

“Any way you look at it - on moral, economic or political grounds - renewal of this nuclear system is untenable.”

Note:

Details of the Sunday Times report can be found here:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6806498.ece

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