Tory MP Mark Francois tells head of the army to overhaul defence or Dominic Cummings will ‘sort you out’
Mark Francois sits on the Commons defence select committee (Parliamentlive.tv)
Tory MP Mark Francois has warned the UK's most senior army general that Dominic Cummings will “sort you out his own way” if the Ministry of Defence is not reformed.
The prominent Brexiteer made the comments at the Defence Select Committee on Tuesday while grilling General Sir Nick Carter, who is Chief of the Defence Staff, on the army’s procurement process.
He said: "Can we just make a plea to you? You are the professional head of the armed forces.
“Please nip back to the department and ask them to sort their bloody selves out because if not Cummings is gonna come down and sort you out his own way and you won't like it.”
The statement provoked a laugh from the top general, while committee chair Tobias Elwood added: "I think that message is passed on."
Plans to reform defence spending were announced by the Government last year, with Prime Minister’s chief adviser Mr Cummings understood to be keen on restructuring the country’s defence capability.
In a post on his personal blog last March, Mr Cummings described the defence procurement process as a "farce",
The top aide also claimed that the military "continued to squander billions of pounds, enriching some of the worst corporate looters and corrupting public life via the revolving door of officials/lobbyists".
Mr Francois was also heavily critical of the army’s acquisition arrangement, telling the committee much of the force’s equipment was “old, tired, rusty and obsolescent” as plans to replace them were “way over budget and years late”.