Boris Johnson to meet military chiefs in Number 10

Boris Johnson is to host military leaders in Downing Street as he aims to get the armed forces “match fit”.

The Prime Minister will meet Chief of Defence Staff Sir Nick Carter plus the heads of the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, among others, to discuss plans for the armed forces.

Mr Johnson also confirmed the next Nato leaders meeting will take place in Watford on December at the Grove hotel.

Boris Johnson hosts military reception
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks to a guest as he hosts a military reception (Jon Nguyen/The Daily Telegraph/PA)

His talks with British military chiefs and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace on Thursday take place after Chancellor Sajid Javid announced £2.2 billion extra for the Ministry of Defence at the spending round earlier this month.

MPs have repeatedly pressed the Government to increase defence spending, with concerns also raised over personnel numbers and equipment.

Boris Johnson hosts military reception
The partner of the PM, Carrie Symonds, introduces guests to Dilyn the Jack Russell (Jon Nguyen/The Daily Telegraph/PA)

Mr Johnson said: “As the world becomes a more competitive and challenging place, maintaining a world-class armed forces is as important as ever.

“Defence has a vital role to play in supporting global Britain’s role in the world. It underpins the strength of our alliances and enables us to support the rules-based order in a time of international uncertainty.

“I look forward to speaking to the service chiefs today about how we invest and modernise our armed forces – getting them ‘match fit’ for the global security challenges that lie ahead.”

On the Nato leaders meeting, Mr Johnson also said: “The UK will continue to play a leading role in strengthening the alliance with our armed forces are at the forefront of that effort and I’m pleased that we will be hosting the next meeting of Nato leaders in Hertfordshire, marking 70 years of this vital alliance.”

Shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith MP said: “As always Boris Johnson has a loose relationship with the truth. His claim to support our military is deeply hypocritical when his party has cut the Armed Forces for nine years running.

“All three services are short of personnel and morale is in freefall because of the Tories’ short-sighted defence cuts.

“The Conservatives handed our servicemen and women a real terms pay cut for seven years running. Too many personnel and their families are stuck in shoddy housing because of the Government’s ideological obsession with outsourcing services to failing private sector companies.”

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