Ship refit agency chief quits after cuts order

The chief executive of the agency which runs the Government’s ship refit programme has resigned, apparently in protest at proposed budget cuts. Roger Babington is said by a naval industry source to have left as chief of the Ministry of Defence’s Ships Support Agency at Foxhill, near Bath, after being asked to find cuts of […]

The chief executive of the agency which runs the Government’s ship refit programme has resigned, apparently in protest at proposed budget cuts.

Roger Babington is said by a naval industry source to have left as chief of the Ministry of Defence’s Ships Support Agency at Foxhill, near Bath, after being asked to find cuts of several hundred million pounds over three years. Babington told the MoD it could not be done.

The MoD described as speculative the suggestion that Babington had resigned because of cuts. A spokesman said the ministry ‘is pursuing a continuous programme of efficiency measures’.

The Ships Support Agency is one of two agencies within Naval Support Command which were started last December by the then defence procurement minister, Nicholas Soames.

‘All areas of the MoD continue to strive for even better value for money and the Naval Support Command is continuing to contribute to this,’ the ministry said.

John Coles of Superintendent Ships at Devonport, is acting as chief executive until a permanent replacement is appointed.