Defence Budget and Transformation
Liam Fox (North Somerset, Conservative)
First, may I thank my right hon. Friend for his kind words and extend them to the rest of the ministerial team? The junior Ministers all had their share of the hard work and the difficult decisions that had to be taken to get us out of the mess that we inherited. Will my right hon. Friend reflect on the fact that we inherited from Labour not only a £38 billion black hole but a commitment to the replacement of the Trident programme that had no funding line whatever? Will he also tell us how far he has got in introducing professional procurement skills into the Ministry of Defence to enable us to deal with contracts on an equal basis with industry and thus give taxpayers better value and ensure that the kind of disasters that we faced in the past do not happen again?