The MoD wants to relax security checks for recruits in a bid to boost diversity and inclusion in the armed 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.”
A source close to the Defence Secretary said: “He’s determined it is rooted out on his watch. He’s ready to go to battle on it…”
Meanwhile, fellow Cabinet minister Michael Gove said political correctness should not “impair our ability to defend our borders”.
General Sir Patrick Sanders has said that Britain should brace itself to fight a war in the futurePA
The Housing Secretary told Sky’s Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips: “Grant Shapps, the Defence Secretary, has been looking at the specific policies we have in the Ministry of Defence in order to ensure that we strike the right balance, that we provide protection for individuals in our armed forces, that we make sure that we draw all the talent available in this country to ensure that we have a strong and diverse military, but also to make sure that these policies operate in such a way as to ensure that political correctness, or some of the more – what’s the word? – ‘out there’ approaches that people take towards diversity, equity and inclusion don’t impair our ability to defend our borders and to make sure that this country is secure.”
Government figures show that there were 184,860 service personnel in the UK forces in October, including volunteer reserves.
The number reflects a fall of 7,440 from the previous year.
Shapps said last month that the UK needed to be “prepared” for war and the country was “moving from a post-war to pre-war world”.
General Sir Patrick Sanders, chief of the general staff, went further by suggesting the British public should prepare to fight in a “citizen army”.