Lichfield’s MP has admitted he is “saddened” by the confirmation that the 3rd Battalion the Mercian Regiment will be disbanded.
The news was announced by Philip Hammond to the House of Commons earlier today as part of a review into the UK’s military levels in the wake of the Government’s cut to the armed forces budget.
Despite confirming that the Battalion would be disbanded he gave assurances that most if not all of the troops would be redeployed elsewhere.
But Michael Fabricant MP admitted he was still disappointed by the news.
He said: “While I can understand the need for cuts – the nation is £2trillion in debt and Labour left the Ministry of Defence with a £38billion black hole – I am saddened that the Defence Secretary has decided to salami slice the Mercian Regiment.
“However, I have received firm assurances from the MOD that most if not all of the 3rd Battalion will be absorbed into other battalions and regiments. The Secretary of State has also said that it will be up to the Mercian Regiment to determine how the Staffords name, identity and traditions can be maintained within the Mercian Regiment.
“I will be contacting the Regiment to ask them precisely how this might be achieved.”
The news has come as a blow to Mr Fabricant who has campaigned to keep the regiment for more than two decades.
“Even before I became an MP in 1991, I was involved in the ‘Save Our Staffords’ campaign,” said the city’s MP. “We were successful when John Major reversed the previous decision to merge the Staffords with the Cheshires.
“It was a shock and a disgrace when the Staffordshire Regiment was abolished some years back and merged into the Mercian Regiment by the Labour Government.”