Tory MP Mark Francois appeared to threaten the UK’s most senior army general, warning him Dominic Cummings was going to “sort you out.”
The eyebrow-raising moment came after Francois embarked on a lengthy criticism of the UK’s defence procurement process.
Speaking at the Defence Select Committee, he told General Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the Defence Staff: “Can we just make a plea to you. You are the professional head of the armed forces.
“Please nip back to the department and ask them to sort their bloody selves out, because if not, Cummings is going to come down there and sort you out his own way, and you won’t like it.”
General Sir Nick laughed.
Committee chair and fellow Tory MP Tobias Ellwood said: “I think that message is passed on.”
Mr Cummings, Boris Johnson’s most senior advisor, is understood to have defence spending reform high on his list of priorities as he moves ahead with his bid to shake up Whitehall.
It’s thought he believes the MoD does not get value for money in its purchasing, and has been wasting billions on misjudged procurement.
The PM’s spokesman confirmed plans for a review of MoD spending in December, saying: “The government will undertake a new integrated foreign policy, security and defence review which will extend from the armed forces to the intelligence services, counter-terrorism, serious organised crime, diplomacy and development.
“This will ensure we are making the best use of spending to ensure all our security forces are ahead of hostile powers, terrorists and organised crime.”