Vernon Coaker MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, responding to reports that further delays to the F35 Lightning II programme means that US forces may fly from the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers, said:
“This fiasco is a direct result of the Tory Government’s botched defence decisions.
“In 2010, against all advice, David Cameron switched the type of aircraft to be flown off the Carrier from F-35B to F-35C, only to change his mind back again two years later.
“That wasted millions of taxpayer pounds and caused this delay in the delivery of aircraft for the Queen Elizabeth Carrier.
“We welcome the cooperation of our U.S. allies in making up for the Tory Government’s shortfall. But there is no substitute for British-owned aircraft flying off a British-operated Aircraft Carrier.”