Responding to the Conservatives' announcement on defence spending, former Liberal Democrat leader and ex-Royal Marine Paddy Ashdown said:

“This Conservative government has slashed funding on defence, cut our Royal Marines and left our troops on the front line without basic equipment.

"Billions has been spent on big ticket items that we may not even have enough troops to use. 

"Of course adequate spending on defence is welcome and necessary, but this is a piece of last-minute chicanery to cover up the Conservative's dismal record. 

"No wonder Britain's top generals have accused the Tories of trying to deceive the public over defence cuts.

"It shows why Britain needs a strong opposition to hold the Conservatives to account."