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Politics

Brigadier Chris Bryant fears for army in Wales

Rhondda MP Chris Bryant has raised his concerns about the future of the army’s presence here in Wales including the possible closure of its Brecon HQ.

Mr Bryant claims talks have been taking place which could lead to the full merger of the Welsh brigade which already comes under the responsibility of the West Midlands division.

And he reckons those talks could involve getting rid of the Brigadier based at Brecon or even closing that HQ in Brecon.

Mr Bryant said,

There are secret conversations going on at the moment within the army, within the Government, thinking about combining the Welsh brigade with the West Midlands and taking the HQ away from Brecon.

That’ll mean a loss of jobs, loss of influence and I think it’ll mean the downgrading of the British army in Wales.

That’ll be a big mistake and yet another example of the government turning its back on Wales.

The Ministry of Defence says  that discussions are ongoing about how all three forces will be reorganised as part of the Government’s strategic defence review.

It’s confirmed that those discussion are looking at how Wales can play its part in that review.

But it says no decision has been made and the MOD wants to ‘retain its footprint’ across the UK.

UPDATE 1800 on Wednesday – here’s the official statement from the MOD:

The army are looking at ways to ensure that the organisational structure is as effective as possible but no decisions have yet been made. Defence Secretary Liam Fox has said that he is keen to maintain a military footprint in Wales.

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About Adrian Masters

By day, Political Editor at ITV Wales. By night, obsessed with music and books.

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