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Prime minister David Cameron meets with Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi in London Children and families minister Edward Timpson (09.45) and shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt (11.40) speak at a NSPCC conference in London on chi... Continue to article
Philip Hammond dismissed suggestions that Britain wielded less influence internationally because of the Government's defence cuts. "Much of what I'm hearing is nonsense; we still have the fourth largest defence budget in the world, I was... Continue to article
Technical gremlins mean the Waugh Room Memo probably hasn't hit all of your inboxes this morning. Below is the essential preview of what's happening in Westminster today. As it happens, now and again, I put up a public version of the Me... Continue to article
Philip Hammond said no body should be in any doubt of the UK's resolve to defend Nato members' territory. There’s a clear distinction between the undoubted resolve of Nato to defend the territory of Nato member states and to enforce the... Continue to article
Philip Hammond indicated that Russian aggression in Ukraine would not elicit a military response from the West. “Well, NATO is involved already. We’re very clear that the preferred way of dealing with this situation over the Ukraine and ... Continue to article
Defence Sec Philip Hammond confirms Govt will offer Typhoon aircraft to Nato-Baltic air policing mission #Ukraine #Crimea #DefenceQs
Independence poses a threat to both levels of safety and security and the future of defence jobs in Scotland, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has told the Conservative Party conference. Continue to article
Prime minister David Cameron hosts Irish prime minister Enda Kenny as part of the annual Anglo-Irish summit Business secretary Vince Cable attends Alternative Finance Summit 2014 in London Energy secretary Ed Davey speaks at the Lond... Continue to article
COMMONS CHAMBER 11.30am: Cabinet Office questions (topicals at 11.53pm) 12 noon: Prime minister questions 12.30pm: Ten minute rule motion: Private Rented Sector Bill (Dr Julian Huppert, LD, Cambridge) Main business Intellectua... Continue to article
One of the UK's Trident submarines is to be refuelled after a leak was discovered in a nuclear reactor, the Defence Secretary has revealed. HMS Vanguard, one of four nuclear-capable subs, will now be refuelled during its planned mainten... Continue to article
I'm delighted to say our House Magazine Guide to the Spring Conferences boasts pieces from all of the main party leaders, plus their party activists. We have a strong section on Scotland, with Alex Salmond, Johann Lamont and Ruth Davidson w... Continue to article
Philip Hammond said climate change had contributed to the extreme weather responsible for recent flooding in the UK. “Climate change is clearly happening; it’s clearly a factor in the weather patterns that we’re seeing, and that’s why we... Continue to article
The first meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Flooding was chaired today by the Prime Minister David Cameron. The new Committee was set up by the Prime Minister earlier this week to coordinate strategic long-term plans on flood recovery a... Continue to article
Philip Hammond said local authorities and emergency services would not be constrained in terms of resources. "We can always learn lessons about the way things are done. My observation is that what people in this particular community feel... Continue to article
Philip Hammond said the Government was doing all it could to tackle flooding but said it could not do everything. "I'm glad to say I think we are getting it together... The work that needs to be done is being done. Where there is somethi... Continue to article
Philip Hammond declined to give his backing to embattled Environment Agency chair Lord Smith. “This is not the time for recriminations or for discussions of who did what when. We can do that afterwards. “Politicians don’t do yes/no qu... Continue to article
Philip Hammond described a deal with AgustaWestland to maintain the Ministry of Defence’s Apache helicopters as a “great news story for British engineering”. “What we have to do is make sure that our armed forces have the equipment that ... Continue to article
The number of troop deaths in Afghanistan is "astonishing", Prince Charles has said.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond earlier admitted he was only made aware of the decision to reduce joint Nato/Afghan patrols on Monday.
The Prime Minister's spokesman also said David Cameron "probably" found out about the move for the first time on Tuesday.
British troops could leave Afghanistan as early as 2013, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has suggested.
The Defence Secretary hinted that if American forces began to speed up their withdrawal that British forces were likely to follow suit, saying "we don't want to be left out on a limb – if our allies are drawing down more quickly we will look to drawdown on a pattern that reflects that."
Mr Hammond also told BBC Radio 4's The World at One that equipment had already begun to be removed from the country.
He argued no exit would be feasible before the middle of 2013, but said "you can draw the [exit] curve with varying degrees of steepness".
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has claimed he has succeeded in plugging the £38bn Ministry of Defence funding gap.
In an interview for the Sunday Times, Mr Hammond said: "In the next few days we will be in a position to make the grand announcement that I've balanced the books."
Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy was dismissive of the claim, calling it "posturing" that would be of little reassurance to service personnel set to lose their jobs.
The Ministry of Defence is to cut 25% of its head office staff, Philip Hammond revealed today.
The Defence Secretary also announced a new senior structure in the department, to allow it become less "top heavy". An MoD statement said the move would save around £3.8m a year.
About 26 civilian and military posts at Senior Civil Service level, equivalent of Commodore, Brigadier, Air Commodore or above are set to go, the MoD said. Mr Hammond said:
"At a time when we are making difficult decisions about Defence spending and have had to accept reductions across the board we cannot ignore the volume of posts at the top. For too long the MoD has been top heavy, with too many senior civilians and military."
The Ministry of Defence has eliminated the "yawning black hole" it inherited in its finances and delivered a balanced budget, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has announced.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Hammond said his department had taken "tough decisions" to deal with the "chaotic" budget deficit, and pledged to ensure that the MoD “never again gets into the mess it did in early 2010.”
The Defence Secretary said the U-turn on aircraft carrier jets, announced last week, was "the final piece of the jigsaw” in creating a "formidable, adaptable and well equipped Armed Forces backed by balanced budget, disciplined processes and an efficient and effective department."
"The best way I can support our Armed Forces," he said, "as they restructure and refocus themselves for the future, is to give them the assurance of stable and well-managed budgets and the confidence that the equipment programme is affordable and deliverable.
"The only way to ensure in the long term, the ability to project power to protect our national security and to ensure that our troops have the equipment they need is to have defence budget that is in balance."
The Defence Secretary also denied he was planning to scrap historical regimental names such as Black Watch, saying he understood the "vital role" the regimental structure plays in the Armed Forces.
However he refused to rule out any further amalgamation or disbandment of Scottish regiments.
"We are going to have a smaller army, "he said.
"You can’t have a smaller army without some structural changes, and I will make an announcement to the House as soon as I am able about the structure of Army 2020."
Those who borrowed too much during the economic boom must take responsibility for their involvement in the financial crisis, Philip Hammond has said. Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, the Defence Secretary said consumers and home-owners who took out loans, spent large amounts of money on credit cards and accepted large mortgages were "consenting adults" and that banks "had to lend to someone".
15/04/2014 on World at One, BBC Radio 4
30/03/2014 on The Andrew Marr Show, BBC Two
27/03/2014 on Today, BBC Radio 4
26/03/2014 on Newsnight, BBC Two
Summaries and transcripts from TV and radio
4 hours ago on Today, BBC Radio 4
4 hours ago on Today, BBC Radio 4
22/04/2014 on Sky News
33 minutes ago