'Grave Consequences' Over Cuts, Warns Fox

The Prime Minister has been warned that spending cuts while the UK is "at war" will result in "grave consequences".

Defence Secretary Liam Fox voiced his concern over "draconian" spending cuts in a private letter to David Cameron, however it was leaked to the Daily Telegraph this week.

In the letter, Dr Fox said cuts would damage the morale of troops and the risk the reputation of the Conservative Party.

He said: "Party, media, military and the international reaction will be brutal if we do not recognise the dangers and continue to push for such draconian cuts at a time when we are at war."

He added the Tories could destroy "much of the reputation and capital" they had built on defence.

The letter was sent ahead of Tuesday's meeting of the National Security Council, where options for the strategic defence and security review (SDSR) were being considered.

In reference to the meeting he said: "Frankly this process is looking less and less defensible as a proper SDSR and more like a 'super CSR' (Comprehensive Spending Review).”

Downing Street is said to be playing down the letter, stating that it was natural for a defence secretary to make "robust representations" about his department's budget.

Dr Fox is said to be "appalled" by the leak and added the culprit would be found.

The National Security Council are set to meet again regarding final decisions after the Tory conference next week. The review is due to report in October.


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