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22 May 2024

London Defence Conference: Deputy Prime Minister announces measures to make UK more resilient

The Rt Hon Oliver Dowden told the London Defence Conference, held today at King’s College London, that a new series of measures will prepare the nation for crises such as a cyber attacks, solar flares, power outages and another pandemic.

Oliver Dowden speaking at the London Defence Conference 2024

He said: “We are working ahead of time to equip the whole of society to prepare for and even prevent the next shock while delivering a clear and robust plan that is so vital to our national defences. The new measures I have set out today give us yet more tools in our armoury.”

As well as encouraging households prepare non-perishable foods, bottles of water and torches in case of an emergency, the Prime Minister announced a new website, training for MPs and a new programme to model what would happen in another pandemic to make the UK more resilient.

He added: “We put ourselves at risk if we don’t put sensible precautions in place."

Mr Dowden spoke about the cost of the COVID-19 pandemic and the early days of lockdown when supermarket shelves were emptied of household goods, such as toilet paper, tomato sauce and dried pasta.

The one thing that Covid made clear and remains clear is that crises can hit us all in ways that we might not be able to anticipate. Resilience requires us all to be ready.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden

Polling conducted by Focaldata for the London Defence Conference found just 15 percent of people in the UK have a kit of essential supplies ready in case of an emergency.

Leaders in security and defence from around the world are attending the annual Conference at King's this week.

This year’s conference theme is "Deterrence: Building Capacity to Counter Global Threats", with panel discussions, keynotes and conversation sessions on contemporary and future challenges in security.