Jeremy Hunt promises £15bn defence spending boost if he becomes Prime Minister
Jeremy Hunt has vowed to boost defence spending by 25% over the next five years if he becomes Prime Minister.
The Tory leadership hopeful said the £15billion war chest would "show that we are determined to remain a first rank military power".
The extra investment would see the proportion of GDP spent on defence rise from 2% - the amount all Nato members are supposed to sign up to - to 2.5% by the middle of the next decade.
Mr Hunt said the extra money would allow Britain to play "a new leading role in deterring Russian activity on Europe’s shores".
He said: “I was the person who secured a historic funding boost for the NHS and as Prime Minister I’ll do the same for defence.
“Increasing defence spending by 25% over five years will show the world a self-confident country ready to defend its interests and values as we embark on an exciting post-Brexit future.
“Everyone knows Britain is a world leading soft power, but to be credible we need to show that we are determined to remain a first rank military power.
“My plan for defence will give our brave troops the backing they need and show the world that when it comes to the new threats to Western values, Britain is back and Britain’s voice will be strong.”
Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt, who is backing Mr Hunt in the Tory leadership contest against Boris Johnson, welcomed the announcement.
She said: “We must give the men and women of our Armed Forces what they need to do the job we ask of them. Jeremy’s clear commitment to do that is one reason why he has my support.”