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Hogg Robinson Group plc

Gb00b1cm8s45, business support services.

  • Hogg Robinson : HRG successfully retains the Ministry of Defence travel account

HRG, the award winning global travel management company, has been successful in retaining the opportunity to provide domestic and international travel to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) domestic and international travel account and secure other new eligible central government customers under the Crown Commercial Service's (CCS) new Crown Travel and Venue Services (CTVS) Contracts.

The new contract, with a potential value of circa £120m per annum is available to customers now and will run for three years with a one year extension opportunity. HRG will continue to strive to deliver a first class and cost effective travel service to the MoD and any other customers who sign up to Contract One under the Crown Travel and Venue Services deal.

David Radcliffe, Chief Executive of HRG, commented: 'HRG remains very proud of the working relationship we enjoy with our Customers. To have won Contract One of the brand new Crown Travel and Venue Services arrangements is great news, and is testament to the hard work we have undertaken on behalf of our Customers to date. This new award also supports our business strategy in establishing a dedicated Government Services team back in 2013.

'We have a proven track record in the effective management of global government business and we are known for the delivery of real and tangible savings - an ever growing and important facet for governments the world over.'

'HRG will continue to be relentless in its service performance measurement and its delivery against benefits realisation targets set by the Crown Commercial Service. Our understanding of Government requirements, coupled with a forward leaning approach will ensure we continue to meet the service and savings expectations of our clients.'

Matt Denham, Commercial Delivery Director at CCS said: 'This shift away from traditional frameworks to separate contracts is an excellent example of how the government is reshaping its commercial approach to deliver savings for taxpayers while making the way government runs more efficient.'

For more information please contact: Sallyanne Heywood on email or by phone on +44 (0)1256 312 688.

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hrg defence travel uk

  • Defence and armed forces

PM announces ‘turning point’ in European security as UK set to increase defence spending to 2.5% by 2030

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced that the UK will increase defence spending to 2.5% by 2030.

hrg defence travel uk

  • On a visit to Poland, the Prime Minister launches plan to steadily increase defence spending to 2.5% of GDP by the end of the decade – reaching £87 billion a year in 2030.
  • Rishi Sunak announces ‘biggest strengthening of our national defence in a generation’ to meet the challenge of an increasingly dangerous world.
  • Defence to receive an additional £75 billion over six years, ensuring the UK remains by far the second largest defence spender in NATO after the US.
  • Additional funding will be used to put the UK’s defence industry on a war footing, deliver cutting-edge technology and back Ukraine against Russia.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak today [Tuesday April 23] has announced the biggest strengthening of the UK’s national defence in a generation, with a fully funded plan to grow the defence budget to 2.5% of GDP by 2030. 

Delivering a speech alongside NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Poland, a country at the vanguard of the continent’s defence, the Prime Minister said we are at a turning point in European security and urged allies to step up.

An axis of autocratic states like Russia, Iran and China are increasingly working together to undermine democracies and reshape the world order. They are also investing heavily in their own militaries and in cyber capabilities and in low-cost technology, like the Shahed attack drones Iran fired towards Israel last weekend. 

This poses a direct threat to the lives and livelihoods of people in the UK, as well as across Europe and the wider world. The Government has already committed record investment in defence and the UK armed forces are world-leading – but the Prime Minister has said that we must take further action now to deter these growing threats. 

With today’s announcement, UK defence spending will increase immediately and then rise steadily to reach £87 billion at the end the decade – hitting 2.5% of GDP by 2030. 

The Prime Minister has set out three areas of focus for our bolstered defence budget:

  • Firing up the UK defence industrial base: Investing at least an additional £10 billion over the next decade on munitions production, delivering high-quality jobs and investment across the UK and ensuring we have rapid production capacity and stockpiles of next-generation munitions.
  • Modernising our Armed Forces: Radically reforming defence procurement and creating a new Defence Innovation Agency to ensure the UK is at the cutting edge of modern warfare technology, with at least 5% of the defence budget to be committed to R&D.
  • Backing Ukraine’s defence: Ukraine’s security is our security. As part of this plan, the Government will commit an additional £500 million this year for the ammunition, air defence and drones Ukraine needs; the largest-ever single delivery of military equipment to Ukraine’s frontlines; and a cast-iron commitment to maintain existing levels of support to Ukraine for as long as it Is needed.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

“In a world that is the most dangerous it has been since the end of the Cold War, we cannot be complacent. As our adversaries align, we must do more to defend our country, our interests, and our values.

“That is why today I have announced the biggest strengthening of our national defence for a generation. We will increase defence spending to a new baseline of 2.5% of GDP by 2030 – a plan that delivers an additional £75 billion for defence by the end of the decade and secures our place as by far the largest defence power in Europe.

“Today is a turning point for European security and a landmark moment in the defence of the United Kingdom. It is a generational investment in British security and British prosperity, which makes us safer at home and stronger abroad.”

This is a fully-funded plan to deliver the biggest transformation of our national defence since the Cold War, moving from an aspiration to spend 2.5% by an unspecified date to a costed commitment to do so in 2030. 

Defence spending will increase immediately and rise linearly – with a further £500 million for Ukraine this year and overall increase of £3 billion in the next financial year. Today’s announcement will see an additional £75 billion for defence over the next six years, with defence spending expected to reach £87 billion a year in 2030.

This sets a new standard for other major European NATO economies to follow. If all NATO countries committed at least 2.5% of their GDP to defence, our collective budget would increase by more than £140 billion.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said:

“It speaks to Britain’s global role that, with an improving economy, we are able to make this commitment to peace and security in Europe. It also sends the clearest possible message to Putin that as other NATO European countries match this commitment, which they will, he will never be able to outspend countries that believe in freedom and democracy.”

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said:

“As I argued in my Lancaster House speech earlier this year, we are living in a much more dangerous world. Between Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Iran and its proxies seeking to escalate deadly conflict, and China flexing its muscles, there can be no doubt that the era of the peace dividend is clearly over. 

“The mounting threats we face mean we must invest in defence if we are to continue to defend our values, freedoms and prosperity. 

“Today’s announcement marks the single greatest strengthening of our defence since the Cold War, which will support jobs, boost growth, and strengthen our incredible Armed Forces as a modern fighting force.”

The war in Ukraine has taught us that battlefield success is dependent on the ability to surge defence production and move to ‘always on’ production to replenish key equipment. We will therefore invest a further £10 billion over the next ten years, most of which will be spent with British industry, to grow our domestic munitions production pipeline and increase stockpiles, setting a clear demand signal for industry through long term multi-year contracts. This represents nearly a doubling of our current spending on munitions production. 

The investment will focus on key high-tech capabilities, including air defence missiles and anti-armour munitions, in addition to continued investment in UK-built 155mm artillery ammunition. Defence already supported more than 400,000 jobs in 2021/22 - the equivalent of 1 in every 70 UK jobs – but today’s announcement will support new high-quality jobs and economic growth across all parts of the UK.

Reforms set out by the Prime Minister today will also ensure we are investing in the right technologies and getting more for taxpayers’ money when it comes to defence. 

A newly created Defence Innovation Agency will manage scaled up investment in R&D, bringing together the fragmented defence innovation landscape into a single responsible organisation. This includes R&D in new weapons systems such as Directed Energy Weapons or Hypersonic Missiles, as well as space capabilities and other emerging technologies. We will invest in areas that deliver advantage on the modern battlefield and better exploit low-cost solutions, like the inexpensive Unmanned Surface Vehicles seen in Ukraine. 

The DragonFire laser weapons system, developed by the MoD in collaboration with UK industry partners, demonstrates how we can accelerate technological development into frontline advantage.  Backed by £350 million in government funding, DragonFire can fire at any target visible in the air at around £10 a shot and with an accuracy equivalent to hitting a pound coin from a kilometre away – and the weapon is due to be fitted to Royal Navy ships well ahead of schedule in 2027.

We will also make defence procurement faster, smarter and more joined-up. The new Integrated Procurement Model, launched by the Ministry of Defence in February, will break down individual service silos and bring in checks and balances through a new integrated design authority. The model will see new technologies being used by the armed forces earlier in the process, rather than waiting for a ‘perfect’ product.

Additionally, the Prime Minister has announced plans today to reform the Ministry of Defence’s Head Office to operate as a fully functioning strategic headquarters - holding the front line command accountable for delivery, driving better pan-defence prioritisation and ensuring value-for-money, supported by the National Security Council.

Read the full policy paper on the Government’s new commitment on defence spending.

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Rishi Sunak visits Poland

UK to boost defence spending to 2.5% of GDP, Sunak says

PM pledges to put arms industry on ‘war footing’ with plan to raise defence budget to £87bn a year by 2030

Britain will boost its defence spending to 2.5% of national output by the end of the decade as Rishi Sunak pledged to put the UK’s arms industry on a “war footing” in response to global threats.

The prime minister’s plan, which he said would help the UK deal with an “increasingly dangerous” world, would steadily increase defence spending to £87bn a year by 2030.

It comes after months of pressure from Tory MPs, including the defence secretary, Grant Shapps, to increase military spending to help counter increasing dangers.

Sunak also committed to giving at least £3bn a year to Ukraine “for as long as required”, a key request from President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to provide more certainty in the face of Russian aggression.

However, in a sign the Tories will try to hold Labour’s feet to the fire over defence in the run-up to the general election, Sunak told reporters after his speech in Poland there would be a “choice on this topic” for voters.

Labour has not said it would match Sunak’s commitment, although the shadow cabinet minister Steve Reed told Sky News that Labour “would want to match that”.

Keir Starmer has previously said that Labour would raise defence spending to 2.5% of gross domestic product “as soon as resources allow” and has pledged to conduct a strategic defence and security review within 12 months of taking power.

Sunak may also be hoping his defence announcement will ease the pressure on his leadership from within the Tory party, with many MPs feeling despondent about their chances of retaining power and the local elections likely to be a moment of high peril for the prime minister.

His plans could also mollify his Tory rivals for the leadership after Penny Mordaunt, the Commons leader, said the government’s “first duty is to protect our nation” and Shapps pushed for more cash for the Ministry of Defence amid growing concerns over military spending.

The military commitment, described by Sunak as the “biggest strengthening of our national defence in a generation”, means the UK would spend a cumulative £75bn extra on core defence funding over the next six years.

In a speech in Warsaw alongside the Nato secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, Sunak said Europe was at a turning point as he urged allies to step up to match the commitment of the UK, which will become the second largest contributor to Nato after the United States.

“In a world that is the most dangerous it has been since the end of the cold war, we cannot be complacent. As our adversaries align, we must do more to defend our country, our interests, and our values,” he said.

“Today is a turning point for European security and a landmark moment in the defence of the United Kingdom. It is a generational investment in British security and British prosperity, which makes us safer at home and stronger abroad.”

The prime minister said he would put the UK defence industry on a “war footing”, with £10bn invested in munitions production, as Ukraine showed that countries needed “deeper stockpiles” of weapons.

However, he added: “We must not overstate the danger. We’re not on the brink of war. And nor do we seek it.”

Sunak said the plan was fully funded, moving from an aspiration to spend 2.5% by an unspecified date, when the economic circumstances allowed, to a costed commitment to do so in 2030. The UK currently spends 2.32% of GDP on defence.

However, the spending would not involve any increase in borrowing or debt, Sunak said, implying that it could be partly funded from deeper spending cuts elsewhere.

Documents showed the policy would cost £4.5bn a year by 2027-28, paid for by returns on an increased investment in research and development, and £2.9bn by cutting 70,000 civil service jobs.

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Boris Johnson pledged at a Nato summit in June 2022 to increase UK military spending to 2.5% of GDP by 2030 as part of a strengthening of Nato defences in response to the threat from Russia. But Sunak subsequently did not restate this commitment, instead only committing to the 2% Nato minimum.

Last month, Sunak faced calls from three former defence secretaries – Michael Fallon, Gavin Williamson and Ben Wallace – to pledge an increase to 3% of GDP on the armed forces in the Tory election manifesto.

The funding would also help equip the west to stand up to autocratic states such as Russia, Iran and China, which Sunak said were working together to undermine democracies.

It also includes further pledges to reform defence procurement and the creation of a new defence innovation agency with at least 5% of the defence budget to be committed to research and development.

It covers an additional £500m in military funding for Ukraine from Treasury reserves, which was announced by Sunak before the trip, and takes the total to £3bn this financial year.

Earlier, the prime minister appointed Gen Gwyn Jenkins, a former special forces commander who is the vice-chief of the defence staff, as his new national security adviser.

He will be the first armed forces veteran to serve in the role and replaces Tim Barrow, who is expected to become the next UK ambassador to Washington at the end of this year.

Labour has warned it could reverse Barrow’s appointment if it wins the election, arguing that the next UK government should decide who takes on Britain’s most senior diplomatic posting.

The prime minister welcomed the decision by the US Congress, after months of stalling, to approve a $61bn package of new military aid for Ukraine.

But he added: “That doesn’t take away from the need for Europeans to invest in their security. I am very proud that the UK has always led in that regard.”

Sunak will fly on to Germany, his first visit as prime minister, where he will meet the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, who has just announced his country will finally meet the Nato target for members to spend 2% of GDP on defence. Germany’s weapons commitments to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia are now almost twice the size of Britain’s.

The UK and Germany will announce plans to jointly develop remote-controlled howitzer artillery systems, a programme which they say will create hundreds of jobs across the two countries.

  • Defence policy
  • Rishi Sunak
  • Foreign policy

Most viewed

UK to increase defence spending to 2.5% of GDP - meaning tens of billions of pounds of extra funding

The prime minister announces the spending increase in a hardening of military policy at a time of escalating threats to global security.

hrg defence travel uk

Security and Defence Editor @haynesdeborah

Tuesday 23 April 2024 15:30, UK

British Army personnel teach members of the Ukrainian armed forces are taught how to operate L119 Light Guns by the New Zealand Defence Force and British Army - to defend itself against Russia - on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire. Picture date: Saturday June 25, 2022.

The UK will increase defence spending to 2.5% of national income by 2030 and put its arms industry on a "war-footing", the prime minister has said.

The rise is less ambitious than some insiders say is needed - but it will mean tens of billions of additional pounds for the armed forces over the next six years.

The defence budget will increase immediately and and rise to reach £87bn by the end of the decade.

Rishi Sunak had previously said any extra investment would only happen when economic conditions allow. That caveat has been removed.

In a speech in Poland he said the plan: "Delivers an additional £75 billion for defence by the end of the decade and secures our place as by far the largest defence power in Europe.

"Today is a turning point for European security and a landmark moment in the defence of the United Kingdom," he added.

The UK move comes at a time of escalating threats to global security posed by Russia's war in Ukraine , conflict in the Middle East and an ever-more assertive China .

The "world is less safe than it has been in decades", the prime minister said, speaking earlier in the day on a trip to Poland , where he also revealed a new package of weapons, ammunition and £500m in funds for the Ukrainian armed forces.

hrg defence travel uk

The UK currently spends just over 2% of GDP on defence, but it has recently started to include the money used to support Ukraine against Russia's full-scale invasion to boost - critics say artificially - this figure.

The expectation is that the plan for a rise in defence spending over the next six years would only be dedicated to the core Ministry of Defence budget - amounting to a total of tens of billions of pounds of additional money in total.

Vladimir Putin meets military pilots in the Tver region of Russia. Pic: Reuters

Read more from Sky News: Israeli intelligence chief quits What are Iran's military capabilities?

Defence insiders have long warned that new investment is urgently required to fill yawning gaps in capability across the army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force after decades of cost-saving cuts made by successive governments since the end of the Cold War.

Listen above then tap here to follow the Sky News Daily wherever you get your podcasts

There is also a need to revamp the ability to defend the homeland.

Sky News revealed earlier this month that the UK also has no plan for its own defences in the event of a war .

Follow Sky News on WhatsApp

Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

Officials have started to work on a cross-government "national defence plan".

But any shift back to a Cold War-style, ready-for-war-footing would require political leaders to make defence a genuinely national effort once again - rather than something that is just delivered by the armed forces.

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