David Cameron, speaking on a visit to Crossrail in central London
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David Cameron: Robert Gates 'wrong' on UK defence cuts

Prime Minister David Cameron has insisted the UK is a "first-class player" in defence, in response to remarks by the former US defence secretary.

Robert Gates said cuts to the defence budget meant the UK "won't have full spectrum capabilities and the ability to be a full partner as they have been in the past".

Speaking on a visit to Crossrail in central London, Mr Cameron said he did not agree with Mr Gates.

"We are a first-class player in terms of defence, and as long as I am prime minister, that's how it will stay,'' he added.

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