The new Type 26s Frigates
The new Type 26s Frigates

At Tuesday’s full council the Lib Dems and Tories proved once again they are back in coalition by refusing to listen to the rationale of the Royal Navy and supporting Portsmouth Labour’s call to change focus and put all efforts on bringing important repair and maintenance work for the Type 26s to the city.

Instead both parties agreed to continue pursuing the government to reverse a decision that’s already been made, despite unanimously agreeing with us that repair and maintenance work should be brought to the city.

The amendment backed our city MP, Stephen Morgan’s call to the Defence Secretary last week in a letter to Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson’s late motion was circulated following the Government’s decision to baseport the new Type 26 frigates in Plymouth, a decision based on evidence from the MoD, Royal Navy, defence experts and trade unions. As one councillor said, the council leader had “missed the boat”. The decision has already been made by the Defence Secretary.

Cllr Tom Coles said:

“Despite the Type 26s being based in Devonport, there is scope to base the maintenance and repair facilities here in Portsmouth and this is what, at this stage, the City Council should be lobbying for.

I agree with the Navy’s reasoning behind the decision, you do not, from a strategic point of view, put all your eggs in one basket; basing submarines in Faslane, the NATO group in Plymouth and the new Carriers, type 45 destroyers, what remains of the Type 23 fleet and the Naval Headquarters here in Portsmouth will enable The Senior Service to remain the world’s best Navy”.

Portsmouth Labour will continue to lobby to bring maintenance and repair work for the Type 26s to our city to create jobs and ensure Portsmouth continues to be the home of the Royal Navy.

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