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By Monitor ADMIRAL Sir Alan West has recently been appointed a Junior Minister at the Home Office in charge of security. He reports to Gordon Brown, a man he criticised for not providing enough funding for the Royal Navy and stalling on the two aircraft carriers promised almost ten years ago but which have still not been ordered.

Admiral West was rather a curious choice as a Security Minister and his appointment verges on the James Bond. The question has to be asked; what does a Navy Admiral who had a long career at sea (one of his ships was sunk during the Falklands war) know about international security? Surely the appointment would have better suited to a general or even a retired former Director General of the Security Services? I don't think Admiral West has an intelligence service background at all. There are plenty of security experts around Britain at the moment (most of them appear regularly on Sky News!). I am rather intrigued at this appointment and I would love to know how the Admiral was tempted out of retirement to take up this role. Having a retired former Admiral so close to Gordon Brown will please the Royal Navy especially as it battles in yet another round of spending cuts. Perhaps Admiral West will play some role in the Navy getting the two carriers which the admiral fought so hard for.