A Whitehall row has erupted after a former defense minister said officials were secretly looking at dramatically cutting the British Army to as few as 60,000 soldiers.
Sir Nick Harvey said the radical reduction was being examined by the Ministry of Defence because the department faces an impending “financial crunch” after the election.
The Liberal Democrat MP, who was Armed Forces minister until 2012, said possible cuts were being tested because the defence budget was likely to be badly hit again by austerity cuts made by any new parliament.
Under the Government’s current Army reforms, the number of regular soldiers is already being cut from 102,000 to 82,000, while the number of reservists is growing to 30,000.
There are already more British Muslims fighting for the Islamic State than the British army.