UK Politics

Conservative Party: Labour's economic policies were a national security liability

News   •   Oct 08, 2010 11:55 BST

Addressing the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, Liam Fox lambasted Labour for leaving the Ministry of Defence with a massive unfunded 10-year spending liability of £38 billion, along with an economic legacy which has dangerously undermined the nation's security.

'Make no mistake, Labour's economic policies were a national security liability; so we face a Strategic Defence Spending Review with unavoidably restrained finances, but with a clear role of Britain's place in the world,' he said.

However, Dr Fox said he was still able to implement two recommendations made by Tory MP Dr Andrew Murrison, a former Royal Navy surgeon who was specially commissioned by the Prime Minister to examine ways of improving mental health care for members of the Armed Forces and Service veterans.

These include a dedicated 24 hour support line for veterans, and the appointment of 30 extra mental health nurses in Mental Health Trusts to ensure that the right medical support is available for veterans.

At the same time, new funding of £47 million has been authorised to replace 125 homes for Army families at Bulford Camp on Salisbury Plain with 260 new units, from next year.

'It is not much, and I wish I could do more, but it is a step in the right direction to better housing for our Service personnel and their families. From the establishment of the Military Covenant Commission to the publication of the Armed Forces Manifesto, the Conservative Party has led the way on championing the welfare of our troops, their families and our veterans. Rebuilding the Covenant will be a process and not an event. It will not be done overnight, but at least we are now on the right path,' the Defence Secretary added.