Prime Minister Theresa May has denied claims she asked Gavin Williamson to justify the UK’s military capability as she met with the head of NATO this week.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday thealliance needed Britain’s defence capabilities after a news report said Prime Minister May had told her defence minister that he needed to justify them. Speaking at joint news conference with Mr Stoltenberg, May said:
“The United Kingdom is a leading member of the Nato alliance. We are a leading defence nation and that will continue. We are the second biggest defence budget in Nato. We are the biggest defence budget in Europe.
The reports that you have read are not correct. We will continue to be that leading contributor to the alliance but also a leading defence nation. We will continue to spend 2% of our GDP on defence.
We will continue to contribute in a whole variety of ways across conventional, cyber and nuclear capabilities.”
Mr Stoltenberg said it was important to the whole alliance that the UK continued to play a leading role, providing “high-end, first-class capabilities”.
“The Prime Minister reassured me that the UK will continue to deliver high-end capabilities, a wide spectrum of capabilities,” he told a joint news conference.