Axing historic battalion “devastating” for Teesside forces: Tom Blenkinsop MP

Following the decision by Defence Minister Philip Hammond to axe the historic 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment – the Green Howards – local Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop described the decision as “devastating and ill-thought-out to cut such an historic battalion.”

The Yorkshire Regiment is one of five historic battalions lost as nearly 20,000 servicemen and women are cut from the Army, meaning that there will be roughly only half the number of regular soldiers as there was 35 years ago.

Tom said: “I feared this decision for some time and have been fighting to secure the future of the 2nd Battalion. The decision to scrap the Green Howards is a huge blow to Teesside and shows a complete disregard for the history, the forces community in Teesside and the impact of job losses for our armed forces in an area already on its knees with high unemployment.

“On top of that these cuts to defence lack any strategic thought and I am unconvinced that cutting our Armed Forces at such high levels is the right thing to do in such an uncertain world. It has also led to a decline in military moral, with former Green Howards soldier and Tory advisor General Lord Dannatt calling on the Government to rethink their proposals.

“I’m certain that the North Yorkshire community will continue to oppose this decision and I will do all I can to ensure that such an important part of our community isn’t eroded away.”

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