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Grant Shapps is new Defence Secretary after Ben Wallace resignation

Grant Shapps is new Defence Secretary after Ben Wallace resignation

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.

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.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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