Grant Shapps new UK Defence Secretary in mini-reshuffle
UK Energy Secretary Grant Shapps has been appointed as the new Defence Secretary, after Ben Wallace’s resignation earlier on Thursday, Downing Street officials confirmed.
Shapps previously served as the home secretary for six days in Liz Truss’s disastrous 45-day government. Prior to that he was business secretary, transport secretary and chairman of the Tory party, and held junior ministerial roles from 2010.
Wallace, a champion of increased defence spending, served for just over two years before stepping down, ahead of an expected mini reshuffle. He is one of a growing number of MPs from the ruling Conservative Party who are stepping down at the next General Election, fearing an electoral landslide against the Tories after 13 years in power and an economy in chaos.
Claire Coutinho was confirmed as Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, taking on responsibilities for the government's green policies.
Her task will be a tough one given Prime Minister Rishi Sunak shifted to the right this month in a populist move to bolster its flagging fortunes as he issued new North Sea oil and gas licences and opposed low-traffic neighbourhood schemes designed to reduce pollution and car usage.
Elected as the MP for East Surrey in 2019, Coutinho had previously served in the cabinet as an education minister.
Reporting by Frank Prenesti for Sharecast.com