Yorkshire Regiment 3rd Battalion The Rifles will not be axed

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A YORKSHIRE army regiment that many feared could be axed is not one of those set to close, it has been announced.

Speaking in the House of Commons this afternoon, defence secretary Philip Hammond said the Yorkshire Regiment would lose its 2nd Battalion.

But the 3rd Battalion The Rifles is not one of the 17 units that will be lost in national budget cuts.

The Rifles are the successors to the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and were given the freedom of Batley and Dewsbury last year.

Dewsbury soldier Corporal Jake Hartley was serving with the 3rd Battalion when he was killed in Afghanistan in March.

There have been fears about the future of the 3rd Battalion since last month, when Mr Hammond said units would inevitably be lost as the army plans to shed 20,000 personnel by 2020.