A TORY MP has blasted Prime Minister Tony Blair over Army cuts which could see the Duke of Wellington's regiment axed.
John Greenway, MP for the North Yorkshire constituency of Ryedale, told the Commons it would be folly to lose the Dukes and two other Yorkshire regiments.
Hundreds of protest letters from people in Huddersfield about the threat to the Dukes have been passed to Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon by the Examiner.
Mr Greenway said: "What possible justification can there be at this time to cut infantry numbers by 6,500 and abolish some of our finest regiments, such as the Prince of Wales's, the Duke of Wellington's and the Green Howards in Yorkshire?
"It is this regimental system, sustained and supported by local communities, which sets the British army apart from all others, particularly in the vital role of peace-keeping.
"Wouldn't it be an act of extreme folly to lose these qualities in these uncertain times?" asked Mr Greenway.
Mr Blair said defence spending was increasing, but it was important to manage the money effectively.
"The plans that have been put forward have the support of the Chiefs of the Defence Staff. They are plans that allow us to make sure we can carry out the duties our armed forces do so superbly around the world, but allow us to do it in a modern way.
"That's necessary, because some of the things we require today we did not require a few years ago."