Cameron Steps In To Limit Defence Cuts

(ITN) Prime Minister David Cameron personally intervened to limit cuts to the defence budget in next week's comprehensive spending review, it has emerged.

Chancellor George Osborne had ordered the Ministry of Defence to find cuts of at least 10 per cent as part of his drive to eliminate the UK's structural budget by the end of the Parliament.

Defence Secretary Liam Fox has fought a tough rearguard action to protect the military in the hardest-fought battle of the spending round.

MoD sources have confirmed that a deal had been reached, describing it as "a settlement we can work with".

And it emerged that Mr Cameron spoke up personally for the armed forces, insisting that they had to be given a budget which allowed them to do the job.

It is now understood that the MoD is now facing a reduction of less than 10 per cent to its £37 billion annual budget on Wednesday, when Mr Osborne unveils a CSR which will usher in the deepest cuts in public spending of modern times.

Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports suggest that schools too would be spared the brunt of the cuts, with real-terms increases in their budgets over the next few years, possibly paid for by cuts in other parts of the Department for Education.