Security concerns raised by Royal Navy whistleblower William McNeilly have been brought up yet again, this time by a top military official. Defence Police Federation chairman Eamon Keating has told Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson that budget cuts have left military bases open to attack.
In 2015, McNeilly leaked a report to WikiLeaks detailing safety and security failures aboard the UK’s Trident nuclear armed submarines and at their base at Faslane in Scotland. The same concerns were raised on Wednesday in an open letter to Williamson, only this time by the officers in charge of base security.
In his letter, Keating pleaded with the Tory minister to veto further cuts to the defence budget and issued him with stark warning: cuts to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) police force budget will lead to fewer officers on the ground and weakened security at Faslane and other MoD sites. The shocking betrayal of UK defence at the hands of our Government is another example of how unfit they are to keep us safe.
“I must highlight the deeply concerning, and in many cases deplorable decision making that is leaving many of the UK’s critical military assets and sites at unacceptable risk of attack on our own shores,” Keating’s letter reads.
“It is perhaps only a matter of time before an MoD establishment in the UK faces attack, and the reality is that continued and pernicious reductions in the capacity of the MoD Police leave it ill-equipped and understaffed to deal with such a situation.”
Keating’s plea for more finances echo the same concerns raised by McNeilly two years ago. At the time, McNeilly’s claims were dismissed by the military.
Security weakness will only increase the chances of a large and sustained attack on our land, and we must rally the Government into taking action. With the threat of UK terrorism at its highest level, we cannot be blasé about security, and these concerns from experts must be heeded, or we will become “nothing but targets in this war against terrorism.”