An outspoken South Essex MP has branded the Government’s army recruitment a shambles.

Today, the House of Commons was granted an Urgent Question session following revelations in the national newspapers about the Ministry of Defence’s new IT system not working, despite costing the taxpayer £15.5million.

The online recruitment system is two years behind schedule and will not be operational until at least April next year.

Basildon and Billericay Tory MP, John Baron, who has repeatedly questioned the Government’s plans to replace 20,000 regular troops with reserve forces, had his say on the matter.

He said: “Efforts to save money by replacing 20,000 Regulars with 30,000 Reservists will cost much more than the Government envisages, leading to false economies and a waste of taxpayers’ money.”

“The tens of millions of pounds wasted so far on IT systems not talking to each other is one example of this. How much more money will it cost taxpayers to put this shambles right?”

“Does this not also confirm that we should now stop any further disbandment of regular units and troops until we know for sure that the plan to replace them with reservists is both cost-effective and feasible?”

A backbench rebellion led by Mr Baron, which was designed to stall the Government’s plans, was beaten narrowly in a vote last year.