James Forsyth

Not fit for purpose

Not fit for purpose
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John Reid famously declared that ‘the Home Office was not fit for purpose’. But judging by the fudge over the carriers this epithet would have been better applied to one of his previous departments, the Ministry of Defence.

Something has gone very wrong when it would cost more not to build something than to build it. How the MoD got into this position over the carriers needs to be the subject of an urgent and thorough investigation. Those responsible for this absurd situation need to be held to account.

It is also ridiculous that there will be several years when there’ll be no carrier from which helicopters can be launched and that there’ll be a gap in carrier strike capability. And why the last government wanted to build carriers which meant that Britain couldn’t buy planes off the shelf, and that the two countries who are most likely to be our allies in a conflict requiring carriers cannot land their planes on them, are matters of bafflement.