Meet the UK’s new defense secretary
After British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace resigned from his post this week, PM Rishi Sunak tapped Conservative MP Grant Shapps to take his place.
Shapps, who has served in several cabinet positions since 2019 – most recently overseeing the Department of Energy Security – was not on many people’s bingo cards to take over the defense portfolio due to a lack of foreign policy and national security experience.
Still, some analysts say that Sunak likely tapped Shapps, who backed him for the Tory leadership, because of his apt communication skills – skills the PM hopes can help the party connect with an electorate that’s soured on the Tories after years of political tumult.
Shapps traveled to Kyiv last week as part of a plan to help Ukraine power its nuclear plants.The UK has been one of the world's staunchest supporters of Ukraine to date.
The PM made a few other tweaks to the cabinet this week, but some critics say that he should have done more to shake things up within the party this summer as a general election looms, and Labour remains nearly 20 points ahead in the polls.