Conor McGinn has spoken of his serious concerns for the future of Army jobs after reports emerged that a regiment might be disbanded as part of the Government’s integrated review.

Recent reports in the national media suggested that Ministers are considering axing infantry regiments – including the 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (1 LANCS).

In response, Conor said the Government must be clear about its plans and do more to protect the strength of full-time and reserve forces in the North West of England.

Mr McGinn’s intervention comes as sources working on the Government’s integrated review revealed that the 1 LANCS was one of four light infantry battalions being considered for the chop under plans for a military overhaul that could see hundreds of soldiers relocated to strengthen other units.

Known as ‘The Lions of England’, the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment is the Infantry Regiment of the North West of England, with all three of its battalions based in the region.

Critics say the recent reports that suggest the 1 LANCS are in danger of being scrapped are just the latest evidence that the government is not doing enough to maintain Britain’s Armed Forces.

In 2015, the Government pledged to maintain the size of the regular Armed Forces and not to reduce the Army below 82,000, yet the size of full-time, fully-trained Army personnel has shrunk from 102,200 in 2010 to 75,310 in 2020 – well below the commitment.

The overall numbers of personnel across the Armed Forces are also down 43,645 since 2010, a cut of some 25%.

In response, Conor McGinn MP said: “These reports are seriously concerning.

“The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment is hugely valued by the Armed Forces and wider community here in St Helens Borough and across the historic county of Lancashire.

“For Tory Ministers to consider axing this battalion to compensate for their own failures to maintain Britain’s Armed Forces speaks volumes.

“Minsters must provide clarity to service personnel and their families, who will be worried about the future.”

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