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Grant Shapps is new Defence Secretary after Ben Wallace resignation

31 Aug 2023 2 minute read
Business Secretary Grant Shapps – Photo: PPA Wire/PA Images –
Victoria Jones

Grant Shapps has been appointed Defence Secretary in Rishi Sunak’s mini-reshuffle prompted by Ben Wallace’s formal resignation.

The Prime Minister handed the role overseeing British support to Ukraine during its resistance against the Russian invasion to the energy secretary on Thursday.

Mr Shapps has never held a role in the Ministry of Defence before but is taking on his fifth role in the Cabinet in the last year by becoming its Secretary of State.

Education minister Claire Coutinho was seen entering No 10 after Mr Shapps, with his energy role expected to be filled.

Honoured

Mr Shapps said he was “honoured” to take on the role “continuing the UK’s support for Ukraine in their fight against Putin’s barbaric invasion”.

In Westminster, Mr Shapps is seen as an effective communicator and will be key for Mr Sunak as he leads the Tories towards a general election, expected next year.

Mr Wallace confirmed his departure as defence secretary on Thursday morning after announcing last month that he would bring an end to his four years in the job.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Wallace said: “The Ministry of Defence is back on the path to being once again world class with world-class people.

“The United Kingdom is respected around the world for our armed forces and that respect has only grown more since the war in Ukraine.

“I know you agree with me that we must not return to the days where defence was viewed as a discretionary spend by Government and savings were achieved by hollowing out.”

Mr Sunak had been expected to launch a full reshuffle ahead of the Tory party conference in October but now appears to be holding off on the more wide-ranging move.


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago

His memory is seriously challenged on his performance and the MoD is an incredibly expensive shambles…

Paul Hoskins
Paul Hoskins
7 months ago

A merry-go-round of incompetency!

Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda
7 months ago

Another hapless appointment in the UK government.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
7 months ago

Nothing shreds a person’s’ credibility quicker than being described as ‘a close ally of Boris Johnson’. Despite that, Ben Wallace was a relatively quiet cog in the madness machine but now look at who they have appointed. Truss’ 2 minute Home Secretary in her 5 minute reign. When will this terrifying ride end and let the long suffering passengers off.

hdavies15
hdavies15
7 months ago

Yet another opportunity for a serial duffer to deliver more blunders. Want a mess ? Appoint Shapps !

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
7 months ago

I’m no fan of Ben Wallace, but at least he had experience being a former soldier where Grant Shaoos has none. And as Defense Secretary he is now in control of the Armed Forces, especially seeing the ongoing conflict in Ukraine is intensifying, is extremely worrying seeing his dire record as Home Secretary, Secretary of State for Transport & Business Secretary.

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