The Scottish National Party (SNP) has slammed the Tories’ history of “cuts, U-turns and broken promises” to the UK’s armed forces, after new figures revealed that the number of Army personnel have fallen by 970 in just three months - to the lowest level in over 200 years.
There are now just 73,470 trained personnel, a fall of 970 in the last three months alone.
This follows a trend of shrinking UK military capability with recent Ministry of Defence (MoD) figures revealing the number of fully-trained personnel in the Army, RAF and Royal Navy has fallen for nine consecutive years.
In 2014, the No campaign promised there would be 12,500 Armed Forces personnel in Scotland by 2020, a commitment the MoD is on course to miss by a whopping 25%, with less than 10,000 personnel currently employed in Scotland.
SNP candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran Patricia Gibson said:
“The Tories’ history of cuts, U-turns and broken promises to our armed forces is shocking. Over many years Scotland has endured disproportionate defence cuts, with our service personnel, their families and communities often bearing the brunt.
“Here in North Ayrshire and Arran the MoD’s Beith Equipment and Support has lost hundreds of jobs over the last decade under Labour, the coalition and the Tories.
"After a decade of imposing real terms wage cuts, failing to invest in military housing, and missing their recruitment targets, the Tories have shown time and time again that they cannot be trusted to protect our armed forces.
"The UK parties obsession with renewing Trident at a cost equivalent to five years of the UK’s entire defence budget inevitably means less resources for the Army, RAF and Royal Navy.
“The SNP will continue to support strong conventional armed forces and back our military personnel, not just in terms of numbers and equipment but with lower income tax for thousands of armed forces personnel and the best public services in the UK."