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Index – Foreign Affairs – The new British Defense Minister has not yet assumed his duties, but he is already involved in a scandal

Index – Foreign Affairs – The new British Defense Minister has not yet assumed his duties, but he is already involved in a scandal

As we reported on the index, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made minor changes to the composition of his government at the end of August. In a move often referred to as a reshuffle in British politics, Ben Wallace, who had previously resigned as Defense Secretary, was replaced by Grant Shapps, Energy Secretary, and Claire Coutinho was appointed as head of his portfolio.

Regarding appointments, Sunak has been criticized within his party. Veteran Conservative MP that Criticize himWith Wallace’s departure, the votes of the north of England have disappeared from his government, as both Chapps and Coutinho come from the southern regions, and in addition, both new ministers strengthen Sunak’s camp within the party.

Although Shapps has already held positions in David Cameron’s government, his appointment was unexpected and caused a mixed reaction in British politics – an unnamed minister said. editingthat his appointment is

Like putting a kid in a nuclear bunker and letting him play.

But former British Navy Commander Alan West also criticized Shapps’ inexperience in defense matters, noting that the politician had a very good relationship with the Prime Minister.

At the same time, most people are not concerned with his lack of experience in defense affairs, but rather with the new Defense Minister’s activity on social media.

Shapps really loves the Chinese app TikTok, and he refuses to give it up – despite members of the British government being banned from using the app, which sometimes provides data to the Chinese government.

However, for security reasons, Sunak’s government banned the use of the Chinese app on government phones in the spring, which is why it can oblige the company to hand over data to the Chinese state. In fact, the Chinese company last December I confessThey used the application to spy on journalists in order to identify their sources.

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Despite this, Shapps refuses to give up on the social network. March movie scene fraught To his page where Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street says: “I’m not leaving” – Shapps told everyone he wouldn’t delete the app and would continue to use it on his personal phone rather than his government phone.

In addition, he considers the app very important: he has previously said that it is more personal and interactive than other social media sites, and that politicians should be where people’s eyes are.

However, he has been criticized not only by his party but also by other ministries for his use of TikTok. A Foreign Office official said Shapps should definitely give up using the Chinese social media site, noting that he would not be the one to break the news to.

The opposition Labor Party is calling for the same. the POLITICO He mentioned in his newsletter dealing with British politics

[Shapps-nak] He must now follow his department’s rules and put our national security before his own.

As Politico reminds us, this isn’t the first time politicians have had problems using social media. In 2007, he commented on an LDP campaign video as an alleged LDP voter, but did so through his political YouTube account. Then, because of the comment that caused the scandal, he later claimed that his account had been hacked, and that he had not actually written the comment.

By the way, the British government announced even earlier that the new Defense Secretary had already stopped TikTok from pursuing its status determination – this could also mean that this possibility existed even then.

At the same time, Sunak has not completely stopped reorganizing his government – ​​according to press reports, the current process was just a “mini-reorganization,” and the regular reorganization will take place in September. The extent to which he and the Tories will help is questionable – as we have previously presented, Sunak’s prime ministership to date has been characterized by persistent domestic political crises and internal party battles.

(Cover image: Grant Shapps. Photo: (Daniel Leal/AFP)