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Tory MPs Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Tom Tugendhat break ranks to call for increase of military spending

Tory MPs Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Tom Tugendhat break ranks to call for increase of military spending

Two Tory ministers have broken precedent to call on Rishi Sunak to increase military spending to at least 2.5 per cent to deter potential threats.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, a foreign office minister, and former leadership candidate Tom Tugendhat, now the security minister, published the article on LinkedIn on Friday.

“It's clear that the UK needs to lead the way [by] increasing domestic defence and security spending commitments to 2.5 per cent and beyond,” their joint article said.

“As the UK’s Indo-Pacific and Security ministers, we are confronted daily by rising global threats, and the risk they pose.

“That geopolitical reality is reflected in defence budgets around the world. China announced this week that it was increasing its defence spending by another 7.2 per cent this year, taking it to $230 billion.

“That’s more than twice what it was a decade ago. Russia is committed to spending 40 per cent of its expenditure on defence and security this year.”

Their plea comes on the back of the budget which the ministers implied was missing a commitment to raising the spending above the current 2 per cent.

The UK’s defence budget has risen from £43 billion to £55 billion in the past year, an increase of 28 per cent.

“Strengthening our defence and security isn’t just necessary to deter these threats,” the article continued. “It’s necessary to protect our future prosperity.”

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has previously pledged to increase military spending “as soon as economic conditions allow”.

General Sir Patrick Sanders, the outgoing chief of the army, has additionally called for a boost in military spending while Boris Johnson has backed his call to arms.

Both Mr Tugendhat and Ms Trevelyan went against established ministerial protocol to write their article but have stressed the necessity of such spending.

They have said extra cash would be useful towards growing the Navy, strengthening a nuclear deterrent and building a new generation of fighter jets.

The defence secretary, Grant Shapps, has not commented.

The article added: “The reality is that for far too long, we in the West have allowed the false premise of a peace dividend to erode our defence and security.

“We must work with our partners to change this, and invest to ensure we can both deter and defend effectively.”