UK Defence Jobs

Part of Defence – in the House of Commons on 10th January 2022.

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Photo of John Healey John Healey Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

May I start by thanking the Defence Secretary and you, Mr Speaker, for the words about Jack Dromey? On this side, we mourn deeply his very sad and sudden death. He touched everyone he worked with—everyone has a proud or affectionate Jack Dromey story—and our House and our politics are the poorer without him this week.

Turning to the question, there are indeed 300,000 UK defence jobs, many linked to MOD contracts. Why have the National Audit Office and the MOD’s own accounts officially confirmed 67 cases of overspends, write-offs, contract cancellations, unplanned extensions and admin errors since 2010, costing at least £13 billion in taxpayers’ money wasted since 2010? Those are only the published data—they are the tip of the iceberg—so will the Secretary of State now commission the NAO to conduct an across-the-board audit of MOD waste, as Labour in government would from day one?