Lichfield’s MP has called for assurances that the identity of the 3rd Battalion the Mercian Regiment will be preserved.
Michael Fabricant’s call comes after the Battalion was named on a list of several to be cut in the wake of Government cuts to the armed forces budget.
After the announcement by Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, the city’s MP admitted he was “saddened” by the news and has now written to the Colonel of the Mercian Regiment, Brigadier Andrew Sharpe OBE, to seek assurances over jobs.
“Following the dissolution of the Staffordshire Regiment in 2004 by the last Government, assurances were given that the traditions of the Regiment would be maintained,” Mr Fabricant said. “I intend to hold the Government to that and with other Staffordshire MPs will also be writing in a similar vein to the Prime Minister about this.”
Mr Fabricant’s letter to Brigadier Andrew Sharpe OBE:
“Following the announcement last week by the Secretary of State for Defence on Army 2020, I am saddened that the 3rd Battalion of the Mercian Regiment, The Staffords, will be disbanded as a regular unit.
“I have received assurances that ‘most if not all of the 3rd Battalion will be absorbed into other battalions and regiments’. The Secretary of State has 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.
“It is important that serving soldiers have an assured future and that the traditions of the Staffords – originally raised in Lichfield – be maintained. I would very much appreciate your thoughts on how this might be achieved.”