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Libya blockade sailors 'face sack'

Scores of sailors who risked their lives during the Libyan campaign are among hundreds who will be made redundant this week, it has been reported.

Several dozen of the 250 sailors from the frigate HMS Cumberland, which helped rescue British citizens from Libya in February, will be among those to be told on Friday that they no longer have jobs in the Royal Navy, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Crew from eight of the 10 other ships that took part in the campaign are also in line to be made redundant, the newspaper reported.

HMS Cumberland, the first warship to be sent to enforce the blockade on Libya, sailed home in April and was decommissioned in June.

The newspaper said it understood that the Government would issue compulsory redundancy notices to up to 400 officers and ratings out of 1,100 Navy personnel who will lose their jobs in the first round of Ministry of Defence (MoD) redundancies.

The plans to cut posts were announced earlier this year as part of a programme which could see 11,000 redundancies across the RAF, Army and Royal Navy by April 2015 in an effort to tackle the deficit and bring the defence budget under control.

Earlier this month about 920 soldiers and 930 RAF personnel were told they were being made redundant, 750 of them against their will.

An MoD spokeswoman said: "No-one who is preparing for operations or deployed on operations on the day that redundancy notices are issued will be made redundant unless they have volunteered. Only those who have returned from operations and have taken all their operational leave will be considered.

"We need to structure our forces to ensure that they are sufficiently flexible and adaptable to meet the demands of an uncertain future.

"The decisions we are making are not easy but they will help to defend the UK, protect our interests overseas and enable us to work effectively with allies and partners to deliver greater security and stability in the wider world."

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