Defence chiefs have won £500million bailout from the Chancellor to stave off military cuts

Philip Hammond will announce the urgently needed cash injection in his Budget on Monday.

But a long term solution to the MoD’s £20billion blackhole over the next decade has been delayed by at least another six months.

The Chancellor has insisted the MoD will not get “special treatment” and its longterm financing will be settled during the Whitehall-wide spending review next Spring.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has waged a bitter battle against Mr Hammond for more money to stop him from having to axe ships, jets and thousands of frontline troops.

During one tense meeting with the Chancellor’s deputy, Treasury Chief Secretary Liz Truss, he was said to have threatened to shut the air base RAF Marham in her Norfolk constituency, so she could “feel the pain of defence cuts for herself".

Sources said Mr Hammond feared a major backbench revolt from at least 30 Tory backbenchers if the already struggling MoD was forced to make any more cut backs.

The group had threatened to enforce the extra defence money via amendments to his crucial post-Budget Finance Bill – a deep humiliation for any Chancellor.

But an ally of Mr Hammond said: “Philip is a former defence secretary and is very sympathetic to the need to keep the nation’s defences strong.

“But it was always wrong for the MoD to expect special treatment for any longterm settlement, so Williamson will have to wait for the spending review like everyone else.”

Former Army officer-turned-Tory MP Johnny Mercer, who has lead the campaign against the cuts, said: “I am very pleased the Chancellor has listened to our arguments and agreed to halt any further cuts in-year with this money.

“But I am acutely aware that the UK still needs a longterm strategic vision that is fully funded by Government, and I will continue to press ministers to deliver on this.”

The Chancellor’s MoD bailout comes after he was given a £13bn windfall by better than expected public finances.

It comes on top of an earlier £800m cash injection in March from a special Treasury contingency fund – £600m of which went to help fund four new Trident nuclear submarines.

But the move also threatens to spark a fresh series of demands from other Cabinet ministers for more money for their own ministries too.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid is desperate for more money for the police, and Education Secretary Damian Hinds also wants a budget uplift for schools.

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