Gordon Brown in his statement to the Commons on the G8 – which was mostly about Afghanistan – re-iterated the same exact statistics on helicopters that Harriet gave at PMQs. He said that we had increased them 60% in the last two years as well as increasing the flying time capability. Many members referred to the need for helicopters – but the Prime Minister just repeated the mantra again.
I managed to get called myself to ask him what percentage of that 60% increase were helicopters that can transport troops. Once again he re-iterated the figures he had now given a number of times. I can understand he didn’t want to give numbers – but percentages should have been alright.
He went further than Harriet in that he did say that both types of helicopter were in that 60%. What is so difficult though without a proper answer – is to know whether the Government is hiding the fact that so few of the helicopters in that additional 60% could actually carry troops or whether it is a military secret.