The Labour manifesto has made an incorrect claim regarding the size of the British Army.
This article is part of a series looking at the manifesto claims made by the main parties in the run up to the 2019 General Election.
The Claim: “Trained army personnel have been cut from 102,000 to just over 74,000.”
The Reality: The British Army aims for a strength of 81,500 trained Regulars and 27,000 Army Reservists. Retention and recruitment issues mean that this figure isn’t currently being reached.
Verdict: The figure provide by Labour in their manifesto refers to the current size of the British Army which is having problems with retention and recruitment, the Army however has not actually been cut to that size.
What’s the background here?
Following the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2010 and the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 the British Army adopted an evolving structure (known as Army 2020 Refine) that would see the number of Regular personnel set at 82,000 and see an increase in the number of Reservists to 30,000.
This would bring the ratio of regular to part-time personnel in line with the US and Canada and better integrate the Army Reserve into the Regular Army.
While many argue that this is too small, the drawbacks or advantages of the current size of the British Army is outwith the scope of this fact checking article.