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Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff’s Top Gear co-host ‘proud’ show team ‘kept everything quiet’ after test track crash | Ents & Arts News

Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff’s Top Gear co-host has praised the team behind the programme for keeping the details of the cricket star’s test track crash out of the public eye.

Chris Harris said on BBC Breakfast today that the former England cricket captain is still recovering from his injuries but is “healing”.

Flintoff, 45, was taken to hospital after he was hurt while filming Top Gear at its test track at Dunsfold Aerodrome last December.

He had facial injuries when he appeared in public for the first time with England’s cricket team in September, nine months afterwards.

Harris, who joined Top Gear in 2016, said of his co-star: “I think he’s healing.

“It was a serious incident. I’m not going to say any more than that.

“As I’ve said in the book and in the few interviews I’ve given, I’m so proud of the fact that team Top Gear kept everything quiet and we were dignified.

“There is nothing out there about what happened and there won’t be. There’s no mole in the organisation. I’m really, really proud of that.

“As long as he’s healing, it’s great to see him out and about being passionate about cricket.

“I’m sad I’m not doing Top Gear with him at the moment, but that’s life.

“It’s the best thing for him right now.”

Top Gear presenters Freddie Flintoff, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris. PA Photo/BBC/Lee Brimble.
Chris Harris (pictured, right) said: ‘I think he’s healing. It was a serious incident’

Filming on the series was halted following the incident.

Flintoff’s son, Corey, said at the time that he was “lucky to be alive” and described it as a “pretty nasty crash”.

The BBC said in October it had agreed a financial settlement with the injured presenter following his crash – reported to be worth £9m.

Both Flintoff and the BBC were “satisfied” with the agreement, according to The Sun, which also quoted a “show insider” who said there was “no way it [Top Gear] could continue”.

A BBC spokesperson said last month: “A decision on the timing of future Top Gear shows will be made in due course with BBC Content.”

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Flintoff in September

‘I had nothing to do’ – Harris

Discussing the impact the crash had on his own life, Harris told the BBC: “I suddenly had nothing to do.

“I have got another business, which is an online car platform which is great. I do stuff there.

“But my day job went and you can imagine your muscle memory of working life is really important – you guys have your routines – if that suddenly stops and suddenly you don’t talk to those people, you don’t see those people, then you go into a slightly dark place. I think I really missed it.”

He added: “It does make you reflect on the times that it might have gone wrong, maybe.

“And that made me think I’ve got responsibilities. I’ve got children. Have I been reckless?

“The answer is I don’t think I have. But I did have moments I thought ‘have I pushed this too far’?

“Also, I’m old and I don’t bounce the way I used to. When you’re 25, you bounce nicely. Later you don’t bounce so well. It’s all about bouncing.”

Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff makes rare public appearance nine months after Top Gear crash | UK News

England cricket legend Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff has made a rare public appearance nine months after he suffered serious facial injuries in a car crash.

Flintoff was at Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens in Wales on Friday to watch England’s opening one-day international against New Zealand from the balcony.

The former England captain, 45, was filming for the BBC show Top Gear when he crashed at the Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey.

Flintoff, who was one of the presenters of the show, has kept a low profile since the accident.

However, the former all-rounder, who played in 79 Tests and 141 one-day matches for England, was pictured in an England coaching kit at Sophia Gardens on Friday.

The injuries from the Top Gear crash, which brought the filming of series 34 to a halt, appeared evident on his face.

Flintoff is a close friend of England managing director Rob Key and is set to be with the squad for the remainder of the series.

He is not due to be with the group for the upcoming World Cup in India.

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A statement from BBC Studios earlier this year said it had “concluded its investigation into the accident at the Top Gear Test Track in Surrey last December, which regrettably injured presenter Freddie Flintoff”.

It continued: “We have sincerely apologised to Freddie and will continue to support him with his recovery. Under the circumstances, we feel it would be inappropriate to resume making series 34 of Top Gear at this time.

“We understand this will be disappointing for fans, but it is the right thing to do, and we’ll make a judgement about how best to continue later this year. This has also impacted the production team, who we continue to support.”

Flintoff ended his international career in 2009 after helping England to an Ashes series victory over Australia before he retired from all forms of the game in 2015.

He went on to launch a career in broadcasting, which also included featuring on Sky’s “A League Of Their Own”.

Bank of England’s ‘regrettable’ mistakes fuelled inflation, its former top economist says | Business News

The Bank of England “regrettably” made mistakes that have fuelled inflation in the UK, its former chief economist has told Sky News.

Andy Haldane said the Bank had printed money through its programme of quantitative easing “longer than it needed to” as it tried to help the economy recover from COVID – and also suggested it had acted too slowly to increase interest rates.

While inflation has been coming down from its peak of 11.1% last October, the rate of price rises – which was 6.8% in the year to July – remains high and continues to put a major strain on many households amid the cost of living crisis.

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Hunt: You can’t end ‘misery’ until you get inflation down

Mr Haldane, who stepped down from the Bank in September 2021, also said it was “an evens bet” whether the UK would fall into a recession.

He further criticised what he described as a lack of investment in infrastructure such as hospitals and schools – as highlighted by the classroom concrete crisis this week.

Mr Haldane, who now heads the Royal Society of Arts, made the comments during an interview for Politics Hub with Sophy Ridge, which will be broadcast on Sky News on Tuesday.

When asked about inflation, Mr Haldane said: “It [the Bank of England] kept on printing money for a bit longer than it needed to.

“I think with the benefit of hindsight … we probably did a little bit too much for a little too long. I make no apologies about the greater sway of that easing – that was needed, I think, at the time of COVID to protect jobs and to protect households and to protect businesses.

“But did we persist with that a little longer than we needed to? And did they step on the brakes a little too late – and therefore a little harder now than they needed to? I think that is probably where we find ourselves, regrettably.”

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Inflation: ‘We’re getting poorer’

It comes following criticism of the Bank over its strategy to bring inflation down to its target of 2%.

Its Monetary Policy Committee hiked interest rates for the 14th time in a row last month to 5.25%. But some commentators have warned the UK could tip into a recession if rates remain high.

Mr Haldane described the economy as “pancake-like” and “flatlining for 18 months”, even with the recent upward revisions to the UK’s growth figures.

He added: “The story of the last 18 months remains intact. That is to say, we have been stuck. Growth is absent. That means it would take only the tiniest of tilt for us to enter recessionary territory.”

When asked if recession was still a danger, Mr Haldane replied: “It’s definitely still a danger. I would hope not a sharp recession. But could that rise in the cost of borrowing take the legs from beneath an embryonic recovery? I think it could and that is definitely a risk.

“I’d say it’s an evens bet as things stand.”

On the wider economy, he said there had been “underinvesting in the assets of UK plc” and claimed the concrete crisis in schools had been “foreseeable”.

He added: “We fare poorly when it comes to the amount we save as a country, save as a nation and the amount we invest as a nation. And that’s the main reason why we’re seeing these problems, these fragilities in our infrastructure show up – whether it’s crumbling schools or congested motorways and railways.”

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Education sec watches clip of herself swearing

The Bank of England has defended its strategy to try and bring down inflation, while chancellor Jeremy Hunt has said he is confident it will be halved by the end of the year.

Mr Haldane’s successor as chief economist, Huw Pill, said last week the Bank was determined to “see the job through” – but also admitted he was wary about the risk of “unnecessary damage” being inflicted on employment and growth if interest rates increased too much.

The full interview with Mr Haldane will be broadcast on Politics Hub with Sophy Ridge at 7pm on Tuesday 5 September on Sky News.

Former top aide of Queen Elizabeth II to lead new memorial committee – with public asked to submit their ideas | UK News

A former top aide to Queen Elizabeth II is to lead a new committee looking at ways to commemorate the life and service of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

Lord Robin Janvrin, who served as private secretary to the sovereign from 1999 to 2007, will chair the newly established Queen Elizabeth Memorial Committee.

The committee will put forward proposals for a permanent memorial for the former monarch, as well as a national legacy programme.

The ideas will centre around Queen Elizabeth II’s public service across her 70-year reign, as well as the causes she supported.

The committee will also engage with the public to bring in ideas and suggestions from across the UK.

Lord Robin Janvrin makes a speech before a Platinum Jubilee beacon is lit at Coutts bank in central London, on day one of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Over 3,000 towns, villages and cities throughout the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Oversea Territories, and each of the capital cities of Commonwealth countries are lighting beacons to mark the Jubilee. Picture date: Thursday June 2, 2022.
Lord Robin Janvrin. File pic

Previous royal memorials include the statue of King George V opposite the Houses of Parliament and the memorial statue of King George VI on The Mall.

National legacy programmes for previous monarchs include the creation and protection of 506 parks, playing fields and green spaces in honour of King George V, and a bursary for youth leadership training to mark the life of King George VI.

The plans will be unveiled to coincide with what would have been Her Late Majesty’s hundredth birthday year in 2026.

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The committee will be jointly supported by the Royal Household and the UK government – which will consider funding options as proposals develop.

A range of senior figures and experts will be appointed to develop ideas and bring recommendations to The King and the prime minister.

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Why Meghan and Harry ‘won’t return to the UK’

Lord Janvrin said: “It is an honour to be asked to chair the Queen Elizabeth Memorial Committee.

“It will be a unique challenge to try to capture for future generations Her Late Majesty’s extraordinary contribution to our national life throughout her very long reign”

Who is Lord Janvrin?

A former Royal Navy officer and later a diplomat, Robin Janvrin is best known for his two decades of service to the Royal Household.

He first joined as the Queen’s press secretary in 1987, later taking on the role of assistant private secretary and then deputy private secretary.

In February 1999, he stepped up to the position of the Queen’s private secretary – the keeper of the sovereign’s official programme and the chief line of communication between monarchs and the governments of the Commonwealth.

He stayed in the role until his retirement in September 2007, after which he was knighted and appointed a life peer.

Since leaving the Royal Household, Lord Janvrin has served as Chairman of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, as a trustee of the National Portrait Gallery, and a trustee of the Gurkha Welfare Trust.

He stepped down from all three roles in 2016, but remains a member of the British Library Board, a trustee of the Normandy Memorial Trust and Secretary of the Order of Merit.

Lord Janvrin also sits as a crossbencher in the House of Lords.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden said: “Queen Elizabeth II was our longest reigning monarch and greatest public servant.

“Lord Janvrin will now begin the important work of designing a fitting tribute to her legacy of service to our nation and the Commonwealth.”

COVID inquiry: Some pandemic counter measures ‘prematurely dismissed’ in Wales, says top medic | UK News

A leading medic in Wales has told the COVID inquiry that some non-flu pandemic counter measures had been “prematurely dismissed”.

Sir Frank Atherton, the Welsh government’s chief medical officer, was giving evidence to the COVID inquiry on Monday.

“They had been considered of course but discounted for various reasons and with the benefit of hindsight, discounted without sufficient consideration,” he said.

“The role of these counter measures had very little evidence.

“With the benefit of hindsight, we could and should have paid more attention to the ‘what if’ questions.

“What if the virus was so different that we needed to go down some of these but at the time, I think it’s fair to say that those measures had been considered and somewhat prematurely dismissed.”

The Welsh government's chief medical officer, Sir Frank Atherton, giving evidence to the COVID inquiry. Pic date: 3 July 2023
Sir Frank Atherton was giving evidence to the COVID inquiry on Monday

Sir Frank Atherton works with the Welsh government’s department on public health.

His duties also include the development of health and care research in Wales and maintaining links with other UK chief medical officers, according to the Welsh government’s website.

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Sir Frank told the inquiry that Welsh government ministers had “always been receptive” to advice.

“They haven’t always followed it diligently or entirely, but they’ve always listened very carefully to what I have to say,” he said.

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June: ‘That is a witness box, not a soapbox’

Sir Frank said “Operation Yellow Hammer” – the name given to the preparations for a no-deal Brexit – meant resources had been redeployed from pandemic preparation.

“Resources were moved to other issues,” he said. “The work had all stalled.”

Dr Andrew Goodall, permanent secretary to the Welsh government. Pic date: 3 July 2023
Dr Andrew Goodall was chief executive of NHS Wales and director general of health and social services during the pandemic

The former NHS Wales chief executive also began his evidence to the inquiry on Monday.

“The EU exit arrangement ended up being a priority over and above some of the underlying resilience activities,” said Dr Andrew Goodall.

Dr Goodall was chief executive of NHS Wales and director general of health and social services during the pandemic – a role he held since 2014.

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He was appointed the Welsh government’s permanent secretary in September 2021.

First Minister Mark Drakeford and former Welsh government health minister Vaughan Gething are due to give evidence to the inquiry on Tuesday.

Nicola Sturgeon: Top prosecutor refuses to say if search of former first minister’s home was ‘deliberately delayed’ until after she left office | Politics News

The head of Scotland’s prosecution service has refused to say whether a search warrant for Nicola’s Sturgeon’s home was “deliberately delayed” until after the SNP leadership contest ended.

Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain KC, who leads the Crown Office, was questioned by Sky News after it emerged her organisation was made aware of a police request to raid the former first minister’s home two weeks before it was given the green light.

The SNP‘s headquarters in Edinburgh was also raided by detectives.

According to a Freedom of Information request first published in The Sun newspaper, Police Scotland asked prosecutors to sign off the warrants on 20 March – which was one week before Humza Yousaf became SNP leader.

The go-ahead was not officially given until 3 April.

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Search on Sturgeon’s home ends

The Lord Advocate is the most senior law officer in Scotland and sits in the Scottish government cabinet as chief legal adviser.

Sky News approached Ms Bain as she departed Tuesday morning’s cabinet with First Minister Humza Yousaf.

She did not reply when asked if the Crown Office “deliberately” delayed issuing warrants until after the SNP contest and entered her car when asked if she personally was aware of developments in the case.

Sky News' reporter Connor Gillies approaching Dorothy Bain in Edinburgh
Sky News’ Scotland correspondent Connor Gillies approaching Dorothy Bain in Edinburgh

The Crown Office said it received a “draft warrant” before it was “finalised” on 3 April.

A spokesperson for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said: “COPFS understand the interest in this case but to protect the fair administration of justice we urge restraint in public comment.

“It is standard that any case regarding politicians is dealt with by prosecutors without the involvement of the Lord Advocate or Solicitor General.

“COPFS will continue to work with police on this ongoing investigation.”

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I had ‘no prior knowledge’ of raid

‘Revelation will raise eyebrows across Scotland’

Scottish Conservative MSP Russell Findlay said: “There appears to be no evidence of any undue influence or interference in this process.

“However, the lack of answers to these questions only serves to fuel public concerns about the decision-making taking place behind closed doors.

“The whole murky saga brings into sharp focus the untenable dual role of the Lord Advocate, both as head of the prosecution service and the Scottish government’s most senior lawyer with a place at the cabinet table.”

Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie said: “This is a very interesting revelation that will lead to raised eyebrows across Scotland.

“Whilst I accept that the Lord Advocate may not have had a direct influence on the timing, this story underlines why we need to have a serious discussion in Scotland about separating the role of the Lord Advocate to ensure that there is no perception of conflict of interest can ever occur.”

Former chief executive of the SNP, Peter Murrell returning to his home in Uddingston, Glasgow. Mr Murrell was arrested earlier this month by police investigating the SNPs finances, and questioned for more than 11 hours before being released pending further investigation. Picture date: Thursday April 20, 2023.
Ms Sturgeon’s husband, Peter Murrell, former chief executive of the SNP

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Long-standing SNP chief executive Peter Murrell was arrested and later released without charge pending further investigations amid the probe.

A £100,000 luxury motorhome was removed from the home of Mr Murrell’s elderly mother in Fife.

SNP stalwart Colin Beattie quit as party treasurer hours after he was arrested and released as part of the same investigation.

Police Scotland say the probe, dubbed Operation Branchform, continues.

Freddie Scappaticci: Man accused of being British Army’s top IRA informer ‘Stakeknife’ dies | UK News

The man accused of being ‘Stakeknife’ – the British Army’s top spy in the IRA – has died.

Freddie Scappaticci always denied being the mole – who’s said to have worked as a double agent, torturing and murdering other suspected informants for the IRA’s “nutting squad”.

It’s been claimed he was allowed to commit the violence to gain the trust of the organisation’s leadership and maintain his cover.

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Retired police chief Jon Boutcher has been investigating dozens of murders linked to Stakeknife and the role played by his handlers and the security services, including MI5.

The Operation Kenova report was due to be published early this year but has been delayed.

Mr Boutcher said he was made aware of Scappaticci’s death last week and his team were looking at the implications.

“We remain committed to providing families with the truth of what happened to their loved ones and continue to actively pursue criminal charges against several individuals,” he said.

“We will publish an interim report on Kenova’s findings this year.”

He urged anyone who might now want to talk to investigators following Scappaticci’s death to “contact us in confidence”.

Scappaticci, from West Belfast, was in his late 70s and is understood to have already been buried.

He left Northern Ireland in 2003 after being widely named as Stakeknife.

In 2018, Scappaticci appeared at a London court and admitted possessing extreme pornography.

His death comes as suspected pipe bombs were found in a cemetery in Northern Ireland, hours ahead of Joe Biden’s visit to the country.

The US president is due to arrive in the country between 9pm and 10pm in a much-anticipated trip watched over by a huge security operation.

Top aide questioned Boris Johnson’s plan to say ‘all COVID guidance was followed’ over partygate | Politics News

A senior civil servant questioned whether Boris Johnson should say COVID guidance had been followed at all times in Downing Street, according to new evidence published by MPs investigating whether he lied over partygate.

In written evidence from Martin Reynolds, the former principal private secretary, he said he questioned whether it was “realistic” to make this claim, given the nature of the working environment in No 10.

He said he asked Mr Johnson about the line proposed for PMQs on 7 December, adding: “He did not welcome the interruption but told me that he had received reassurances that the comms event was within the rules. I accepted this but questioned whether it was realistic to argue that all guidance had been followed at all times, given the nature of the working environment in No 10.”

Mr Reynolds said he agreed to delete the reference to guidance.

The evidence has been published ahead of Mr Johnson being questioned by the privileges committee this afternoon on whether he misled parliament over partygate denials.


Ahead of its publication, a source close to the former prime minister said his team believe the new documents are generally helpful to them.

But they have criticised the fact that not all of the evidence Mr Johnson wanted published has gone into the bundle.

All seven committee members, led by Labour veteran Harriet Harman but with a Tory majority, will use Mr Johnson’s appearance to determine if he deliberately misled the Commons when he told MPs no COVID rules or guidance had been broken.

On the eve of his appearance, the former prime minister repeated his denial that he had not done anything wrong and said he was looking forward to the hearing.

NHS: England’s top doctor says emergency care will be prioritised during biggest strike disruption to date | Politics News

Emergency care will be prioritised by the NHS next week when strike action by junior doctors will see the biggest disruption of services to date, with thousands of routine appointments postponed.

The industrial action is set to begin on Monday at all trusts in England for 72 hours.

It is the longest continuous period of walkouts to hit the health service in recent months, following strikes by nurses, paramedics and physiotherapists.

However, with around 61,000 junior doctors making up half of the medical workforce and no national derogations having been agreed, the NHS is warning the latest action is expected to see some of the most severe disruption to date, impacting on efforts to cut the record-high waiting list.

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As a result, emergency, critical and maternity care will be prioritised, as well as patients who have waited the longest for elective care and cancer surgery where possible.

Professor Sir Stephen Powis, the medical director of the NHS, said: “The NHS has been working incredibly hard to mitigate the impact of this strike.

“While we are doing what we can to avoid having to reschedule appointments, there’s no doubt that disruption will be much more severe than before and patients who have been waiting for some time will face postponements across many treatment areas.

“Where there are postponements, we’ll be trying to re-book as quickly as possible. However, it is vital to attend planned appointments unless told otherwise.

“We have no option but to prioritise emergency and critical care as a matter of patient safety, and we’re asking the public to help us and use 111 online as well as local services like general practice and pharmacies as first points of call, but people should of course always use 999 in a life-threatening emergency.”

The NHS stressed that the measures were needed to make sure safe care continues to be available for those in life-threatening situations.

It said routine appointments and procedures will only be cancelled where unavoidable and patients will be offered an alternative date as soon as possible.

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The warning comes after senior leaders reportedly told the Health Service Journal that ministers have not sufficiently sounded the alarm about the risk to patient harm posed by the strikes.

More than 98% of junior doctors from the British Medical Association (BMA) voted to take industrial action in the dispute over pay and conditions.

Talks between the BMA and Health Secretary Steve Barclay at the start of March did not improve matters, with the union saying the cabinet minister “refused to come forth with any improved offer”.

The BMA says that while workload and waiting lists are at record highs, pay for junior doctors has been cut “by more than a quarter since 2008”.

But the government says pay has increased by a cumulative 8.2% since 2019/20 and further wage increases aren’t affordable at a time of record-high inflation.

Health leaders ‘preparing for absolute worst’

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NHS Crisis: ‘Past breaking point’

The NHS Confederation, which represents trusts across the country, urged both sides to “show willingness to compromise and bring these strikes to an end without delay”.

It said health leaders are “preparing for the absolute worst” with some taking down 50% of their planned theatre activity and others are opting for 100%.

Elsewhere one large hospital is having to rearrange more than 2,000 outpatient appointments and over 200 non-urgent surgeries next week.

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Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “We are disappointed the government and BMA have failed to put a stop to the forthcoming junior doctors strikes, especially after the positive steps that have been made with the other trade unions.”

He added: “… no national exceptions have been agreed to these walkouts, and many trusts will find themselves in a difficult position trying to navigate payment of the BMA’s recommended rate card for consultants when covering the work of junior doctors.

“This means it is likely that disruption to patient services will be like nothing the NHS has seen since industrial action started last December. Thousands of procedures and appointments are likely to be cancelled.”

Sending Ukraine tanks weakens UK forces, says Army’s top general | UK News

The British Army will become temporarily weaker and less able to combat Russia after giving away tanks and artillery to Ukraine, its top general has said in an unusually blunt admission.

General Sir Patrick Sanders told his troops that the decision to help the Ukrainian military defeat Vladimir Putin’s invasion would make the UK safer.

But he also stressed the “vital” need to restore his army’s warfighting capability.

The comments were made in an internal message to the Army – seen by Sky News – that appeared designed to put pressure on the Treasury to commit more funding to defence.

“Wars are won and lost on land,” the chief of the general staff wrote in his statement, which was issued after Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, confirmed to Parliament on Monday that the UK would be sending 14 Challenger 2 tanks as well as artillery guns to Ukraine as part of a significant new package of military support.

Commander of Strategic Command, General Sir Patrick Sanders after a live exercise demonstration at Bovington Camp in Dorset. Picture date: Friday March 19, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story DEFENCE Review. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
General Sir Patrick Sanders

“Ukraine needs our tanks and guns now. I know they will put them to good use. And there can be no better cause,” General Sanders said.

He said the UK pledge would encourage other allies to follow suit with more “battle-winning” weapons in greater numbers.

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UK to send tanks to Ukraine

However, the well-regarded officer admitted: “Giving away these capabilities will leave us temporarily weaker as an army, there is no denying it.

“But ensuring Russia’s defeat in Ukraine makes us safer and, as a leading member of NATO, the world’s most powerful defensive alliance, we are protected by the principle of collective defence.”

The top general continued: “There is no doubt that our choice will impact on our ability to mobilise the army against the acute and enduring threat Russia presents and meet our NATO obligations.

“Our tank crews and gunners will feel the impact the most, but the decision also brings the opportunity to accelerate the modernisation and transformation of the army ahead of Russia.”

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How will UK tanks help Ukraine?

Rishi Sunak’s government is refreshing a sweeping review of UK defence and security with the army in need of billions of pounds more in funding to fulfil plans to transform with upgraded tanks and artillery as well invest in vital weapons such as long-range missiles and air defence systems.

But the prime minister has yet to commit even to maintaining defence spending flat in real terms – when the impact of inflation is taken into account.

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A failure to inject significant new money into the defence budget would result in real-term cuts.

The results of the refresh are set to be published in March around the time of the Budget.

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“It is vital that we restore and enhance the army’s warfighting capability at pace to reinforce our combat credibility and retain our position as the leading European ally in NATO,” General Sanders said.

“To that end, I am also determined that we do our utmost to maintain the currency and competency of those affected by our decision to gift these platforms.

“The government is committed to a modernised army that has learnt the lessons of the war in Ukraine and emerges from a period of accelerated investment more lethal, more survivable and able to fight more effectively as part of a joint force.

“This is the army our nation needs; this is the army you deserve.”