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U.Okay. PM Rishi Sunak appoints Grant Shapps as new Defence Minister

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Grant Shapps leaves Downing Street after being appointed Defense Secretary in Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s mini-reshuffle, which was prompted by Ben Wallace’s formal resignation, in London on August 31, 2023.
| Photo Credit: AP

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on August 31 appointed Grant Shapps as his new Defence Minister in a mini reshuffle following the resignation of Ben Wallace as Defence Secretary for private causes.

Mr. Shapps, who was Energy Security and Net Zero Secretary within the Cabinet, has been a powerful supporter of Mr. Sunak as Conservative Party chief.

The new submit of Defence Secretary marks his fifth ministerial portfolio inside a yr, having beforehand served as Transport Secretary and briefly additionally as Home Secretary.

“I’m honoured to be appointed as Defence Secretary by Rishi Sunak. I’d like to pay tribute to the enormous contribution Ben Wallace has made to U.K. defence & global security over the last four years,” Mr. Shapps, 54, posted on X quickly after his assembly with the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street.

Another Mr. Sunak ally and Indian-origin junior minister, Claire Coutinho, is amongst these within the working to exchange Mr. Shapps within the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.

The mini reshuffle was on the playing cards ever since Mr. Wallace had introduced his intention to step down from frontline politics a number of weeks in the past, a transfer he made official along with his resignation letter to Mr. Sunak on Thursday.

“After much reflection, I have taken the decision to ask that I be allowed to step down. I won my seat in 2005 and after so many years it is time for me to invest in the parts of life that I have neglected, and to explore new opportunities. Thank you for your support and your friendship. You and the government will have my continued support,” reads the letter.

Mr. Wallace, 53, additionally praises Sunak for his dedication to defence, saying: “The investment you made in defence as chancellor and the continued support you have shown as Prime Minister has been key to enabling the Ministry of Defence to deliver for Britain. I am personally very grateful for your leadership.

“As I finish my tenure, I can reflect that the Ministry of Defence that I leave is now more modern, better funded and more confident than the organisation I took over in 2019.”

He says the U.Okay.’s Ministry of Defence is “back on the path to being once again world-class with world-class people” and that the nation is revered around the globe for its Armed Forces, rising “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 the government and savings were achieved by hollowing out. I genuinely believe that over the next decade, the world will get more insecure and more unstable. We both share the belief that now is the time to invest,” he added.

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