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Minister insists military is ‘ready’ after report warns UK too weak for war with Russia

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A government minister has insisted the UK’s military services “are ready to be there” after a report claimed Britain was too weak to conduct a war with Russia.

Education secretary Gillian Keegan highlighted that the government was “spending more than £50bn on defence” and stressed that Britain’s forces have shown “how well they do”.

Her comments, in an interview with Sky News’ Trevor Phillips, came after a report by the Commons defence select committee warned that the UK lacks “strategic readiness”.

Sir Jeremy Quin, the Tory chairman of the all-party committee, urged the government to see it as a “wake-up call” and to give “intense focus” to the UK’s readiness for an “all-out war”. 

It found weapons stockpiles are “far below” requirements, troops are overstretched and forces lack training.

A poll by the Sunday Express warned that eight out of ten people fear World War Three will break out within the next five years.

The report warns the government “risks being unable to build true war fighting and strategic readiness because of the sheer pace of operations, which could threaten the UK’s security”.

Keegan said: “We’re spending more than £50bn on defence – that is to ensure we have the operational capabilities, whether that’s to conduct NATO missions or to help Ukraine; whether it’s to conduct some missions that are now taking place in the Red Sea.

“We have that operational capability at all times so that we’re ready to be there.

“Our armed forces are ready to be there to conduct whatever it is that is required, and they’ve shown time and time again how well they do and what a vital part of global order they play.”

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