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Rachel Reeves said Labour would include the state pension in the overall welfare cap. "Yes, Ed Miliband made a speech in June this year about capping the cost of social security, the speech this year said that we would cap social securit... Continue to article
Philip Hammond defended scrapping plans to outsource defence procurement to private firms after spending £7.4m on the process. “With only one bidder in the competition it wasn't sensible to proceed.... I’m not going to apologise for inve... Continue to article
The Government is not proceeding with its original plan to outsource defence procurement, Philip Hammond has confirmed. Earlier in the year, the Defence Secretary said the Government was seeking to introduce a Government owned, contract... Continue to article
Philip Hammond said some people who were "not very wealthy" could be put off from going into Parliament because of pay levels. "I think there is an argument that lots of good people who are not very wealthy, but who are in good professio... Continue to article
COMMONS CHAMBER 9.30am: Culture, media and sport questions (topicals at 10.05am) 10.15am: Women and equalities questions 10.30am: Business statement Main Business Select committee statement on the publication of the first repo... Continue to article
Philip Hammond admitted that fears of a mass influx of Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants may be "misplaced". "I don’t think it’s wrong for politicians in a democracy to respond to public concern and there clearly is public concern about ... Continue to article
The Defence Secretary has announced that the Government will legally mandate an annual report to Parliament on the state of the military's reserve forces. Philip Hammond offered the concession as MPs debated the Defence Reform Bill, in a... Continue to article
Def Sec Philip Hammond tells Commons Govt accepts proposal of legally mandating annual report on military reserves to Parliament
Michael Dugher said Labour would be supporting the Tory rebel amendment calling for a delay to Army cuts, but stressed that the party supported the overall plans. “The Government themselves have said they’re not making these changes actu... Continue to article
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond expected to offer to hold annual debate in Parliament on Reservists in effort to head off Tory critics
Philip Hammond said today’s amendment from Tory MPs calling for a delay in the Government’s plans to reshape the Army would do “nothing to change the trajectory” of personnel cuts. “The amendment that’s on the order paper today does noth... Continue to article
Ministry of Defence press release The Royal Navy amphibious helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious is en route to the Philippines to assist in the humanitarian relief effort, to take over from HMS Daring in due course. The Portsmouth base... Continue to article
Words: Paul Waugh Pictures: Paul Heartfield When Mark Francois lays a wreath at the Cenotaph this Sunday, it will be an act of private remembrance as well as public duty. Like many men his age, the recently appointed Minister for the... Continue to article
For some they’re an increasingly vital part of our democracy, where the mighty and powerful, from government ministers to industry bosses, are put under the microscope. For others, they’re increasingly beginning to resemble coarse show... Continue to article
Philip Hammond dismissed suggestions that there was any political input in BAE's decision to protect jobs in Scotland at the expense of jobs in Portsmouth. "I don't accept that. My primary responsibility is to make sure that we can servi... Continue to article
The job losses in the shipbuilding industry and the closure of the shipyard in Portsmouth were “regrettable” but “inevitable”, the Defence Secretary has said. Philip Hammond told MPs that BAE's decision to rationalise its shipbuilding bu... Continue to article
Vernon Coaker said BAE job cuts were part of a plan to ensure Britain retained its shipbuilding capacity. “What will have happened in this decision is that BAE and the unions and the Government will be looking at what is in the best inte... Continue to article
Labour Party leader Ed Miliband delivers a speech in London on tackling the cost of living crisis (11.00) Environment secretary Owen Paterson is expected to make an announcement on water bills Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin is... Continue to article
COMMONS CHAMBER 11.30am: Treasury questions (topicals at 12.15pm) 12.30pm: Ten minute rule motion: Benefit Claimants (automatic transfer to alternative benefits) Bill (John Hemming, LD, Birmingham Yardley) Main business Gambling ... Continue to article
COMMONS CHAMBER 11.30am: Welsh questions 12.00 noon: Prime minister’s questions Ten minute rule motion: Coroners and Justice (Amendment) Bill (Paul Beresford, Con, Mole Valley) Main business Motion that the police information ... Continue to article
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said it is "disappointing" that hecklers "decided to intervene when they did". "It’s disappointing that they decided to intervene when they did, because what I was trying to do was to outline the reasons ... Continue to article
Two men have been ejected from the Conservative Party conference hall after heckling Defence Secretary Philip Hammond over defence cuts. Continue to article
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond is being heckled during his speech by what look like military veterans in uniform http://t.co/AjjEjM8myO
Philip Hammond said the fast-tracking of the Government's Help to Buy scheme was one of many measures introduced to deal with the cost of living. "It's one of a package of measures that is helping to do what we can to address the pressur... Continue to article
As British Forces continue to hand over responsibility for security in Helmand Province to their Afghan partners, ahead of the end of NATO combat operations in December next year, there is already a huge logistical operation underway t... Continue to article
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond says six British nationals have died in #Kenya shopping centre attack but total may increase #Nairobi Continue to article
Philip Hammond said the Government was in touch with Kenyan authorities. "I can confirm that there is a fourth British national confirmed dead, and next of kin have been informed. We're in touch with the Kenyan authorities, in close cont... Continue to article
The number of troop deaths in Afghanistan is "astonishing", Prince Charles has said.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond earlier admitted he was only made aware of the decision to reduce joint Nato/Afghan patrols on Monday.
The Prime Minister's spokesman also said David Cameron "probably" found out about the move for the first time on Tuesday.
British troops could leave Afghanistan as early as 2013, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has suggested.
The Defence Secretary hinted that if American forces began to speed up their withdrawal that British forces were likely to follow suit, saying "we don't want to be left out on a limb – if our allies are drawing down more quickly we will look to drawdown on a pattern that reflects that."
Mr Hammond also told BBC Radio 4's The World at One that equipment had already begun to be removed from the country.
He argued no exit would be feasible before the middle of 2013, but said "you can draw the [exit] curve with varying degrees of steepness".
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has claimed he has succeeded in plugging the £38bn Ministry of Defence funding gap.
In an interview for the Sunday Times, Mr Hammond said: "In the next few days we will be in a position to make the grand announcement that I've balanced the books."
Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy was dismissive of the claim, calling it "posturing" that would be of little reassurance to service personnel set to lose their jobs.
The Ministry of Defence is to cut 25% of its head office staff, Philip Hammond revealed today.
The Defence Secretary also announced a new senior structure in the department, to allow it become less "top heavy". An MoD statement said the move would save around £3.8m a year.
About 26 civilian and military posts at Senior Civil Service level, equivalent of Commodore, Brigadier, Air Commodore or above are set to go, the MoD said. Mr Hammond said:
"At a time when we are making difficult decisions about Defence spending and have had to accept reductions across the board we cannot ignore the volume of posts at the top. For too long the MoD has been top heavy, with too many senior civilians and military."
The Ministry of Defence has eliminated the "yawning black hole" it inherited in its finances and delivered a balanced budget, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has announced.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Hammond said his department had taken "tough decisions" to deal with the "chaotic" budget deficit, and pledged to ensure that the MoD “never again gets into the mess it did in early 2010.”
The Defence Secretary said the U-turn on aircraft carrier jets, announced last week, was "the final piece of the jigsaw” in creating a "formidable, adaptable and well equipped Armed Forces backed by balanced budget, disciplined processes and an efficient and effective department."
"The best way I can support our Armed Forces," he said, "as they restructure and refocus themselves for the future, is to give them the assurance of stable and well-managed budgets and the confidence that the equipment programme is affordable and deliverable.
"The only way to ensure in the long term, the ability to project power to protect our national security and to ensure that our troops have the equipment they need is to have defence budget that is in balance."
The Defence Secretary also denied he was planning to scrap historical regimental names such as Black Watch, saying he understood the "vital role" the regimental structure plays in the Armed Forces.
However he refused to rule out any further amalgamation or disbandment of Scottish regiments.
"We are going to have a smaller army, "he said.
"You can’t have a smaller army without some structural changes, and I will make an announcement to the House as soon as I am able about the structure of Army 2020."
Those who borrowed too much during the economic boom must take responsibility for their involvement in the financial crisis, Philip Hammond has said. Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, the Defence Secretary said consumers and home-owners who took out loans, spent large amounts of money on credit cards and accepted large mortgages were "consenting adults" and that banks "had to lend to someone".
11/12/2013 on Daily Politics, BBC Two
11/12/2013 on Daily Politics, BBC2
08/12/2013 on Pienaar's Politics, BBC Radio 5Live
27/11/2013 on World at One, BBC Radio 4
20/11/2013 on Daily Politics, BBC Two
20/11/2013 on Today, BBC Radio 4
14/11/2013 on Ministry of Defence
Summaries and transcripts from TV and radio
5 hours ago on Today, BBC Radio 4
12/12/2013 on Newsnight. BBC Two
12/12/2013 on Sky News
4 minutes ago