Despite laughable – were they not so serious – claims by Labour's 'dodgy dossier' on defence procurement, Philip Dunne points out that the contractual risk sharing approach taken by the Ministry of Defence under the Coalition Government has left the burden of cost to remedy current deficiencies of the Ajax programme falling on the contractor, not the taxpayer as would have happened under Labour.
May I commend my hon. Friend the Minister for Defence Procurement for the care that he is taking in dealing with the challenges of the Ajax contract, and for the transparency with which he is keeping the House up to date with the problems? Does he agree that the production contract, which was entered into in 2014, was characterised by transferring risk to the contractor? Had we followed the practice of the previous Labour Government, trumpeted by the shadow Secretary of State, the risk would have stayed with the Ministry of Defence and the taxpayer.
My right hon. Friend is absolutely right. Had this been like the Nimrod situation, where £3.7 billion was wasted by the previous Government and they attempted to blame it on us, that would have been where we are, but we are not; we have a firm-price contract with General Dynamics.