Hunt pledges £15bn more on defence spending

Prime Minister hopeful Jeremy Hunt has said he would boost defence spending by £15 billion over the next five years if he is successful in his Conservative leadership bid.

With the support of Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt, Hunt said the decision would help combat ‘new threats to western values’ and showcase that the UK is ‘ready to defend its interests’. £15 billion over the next five years would mean that spending on defence would rise to 2.5 per cent of GDP by 2023/24, from its current two per cent.

The UK remains one of the few European members to reach the current target of two per cent of GDP. His announcement also follows calls from US President Donald Trump for other Nato allies to commit more spend on defence.

Reports suggest that the policy would be funded through economic growth and fiscal ‘headroom’ set aside by Chancellor Phillip Hammond.  

Hunt 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. 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.”

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