Grant Shapps appointed Defence Secretary after Ben Wallace resigns

It represents Mr Shapps fifth cabinet role in the last year

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.

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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 alone.

He tweeted: “I’m honoured to be appointed as Defence Secretary by @RishiSunak.

“I’d like to pay tribute to the enormous contribution Ben Wallace has made to UK defence & global security over the last 4 years.

“As I get to work at @DefenceHQ I am looking forward to working with the brave men and women of our Armed Forces who defend our nation’s security.

“And continuing the UK’s support for Ukraine in their fight against Putin’s barbaric invasion.”

Education minister Claire Coutinho was seen entering No 10 Thursday morning after Mr Shapps, and is now expected to fill his energy role.

In his resignation 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.

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“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 Wallace announced last month that he would resign from the senior Cabinet role at the next reshuffle, bringing an end to his four years in the job.

Mr Sunak praised Mr Wallace, telling him he leaves office with the Prime Minister’s “thanks and respect”.

The former prime minister Boris Johnson paid tribute to outgoing defence secretary Mr Wallace, while praising his successor.

Mr Johnson tweeted: “Sad to see departure of my friend Ben Wallace. A fine Defence Secretary who got so many calls right – especially on Ukraine.

“Grant Shapps is an excellent choice to succeed him.”



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