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Grant Shapps claims woke extremist culture is rife in the British Army

Grant Shapps claims woke extremists are rife in the British Army and claimed it needs a ‘proper shake-up’ so it can focus on ‘being a lethal fighting force

In an interview with The Telegraph, the Defence Secretary claimed the armed forces resources are being “squandered to promote a political agenda”.

His comments comes as he held crisis talks with military chiefs over plans to relax security checks to increase diversity and it was revealed military personnel wanted to relax checks to promote ethnic diversity among officers.

Mr Shapps said it was “inconceivable” that he would allow the standards for security clearance to be relaxed as amid the threat from Russia and the Middle East conflicts

Mr Shapps said he today (11 February) spoke to senior military chiefs to express his concerns about the plans.

Tomorrow he will launch a review of ethnicity, diversity and inclusivity policies in his department, he said.

Mr Schapps ordering the review comes after a group of retired senior officers went public with strident criticism of what they described as “woke” policies, which they claimed threaten to “destroy the esprit de corps” of the forces.

Mr Shapps said: “I am committed to improving the working conditions and morale of all those who work in the military and Ministry of Defence.

“This is not only the right thing to do but is key to improving recruitment and retainment in our forces.

“However, time and resources are being squandered to promote a political agenda which is pitting individuals against each other, when what we need is a common set of values which delivers the military we need to defend us and our allies.

“This extremist culture has infiltrated public life over years and it is time for a proper shake-up, designed to refocus the military on its core mission – being a lethal fighting force.”

Of the 131 non-UK background officers currently serving, just 28 were found to be from an ethnic minority.

Mr Shapps previously rejected the suggestion in the document that the vetting requirements, which include stipulations that officer candidates must have lived for at least five years in the UK, could be “challenged”.

He said: “We want people from all backgrounds to serve in our military but some policies appear to be more about a political agenda than practically improving the lives of our dedicated soldiers and military personnel. There will certainly not be any lowering of security clearance requirements on my watch.”

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