The United Kingdom will conduct a “root and branch” review of the “extremist culture” of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policies that have crept into the nation’s armed forces amid the growing threat of war and fledgling recruiting numbers, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps has announced.
Following a report that the British Army was planning on lowering standards for security checks to boost diversity in its ranks by increasing overseas recruitment, Grant Shapps spoke with senior military leadership to express his concerns over the “woke” agenda being pushed within his own department and announced a full-scale review of DEI policies within the Armed Forces.
The Defence Secretary said: “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 crept in 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. I am therefore commissioning a root-and-branch review of ethnicity, diversity and inclusivity policies in Defence. It is time for common sense instead of divisiveness.”
The announcement of the review came in the wake of a report from the Sunday Telegraph that revealed that the Army was developing plans to lower standards for security clearances, which typically require an individual to have been a UK resident for at least five years.
The Army had reportedly decried how this standard was “prohibitive to overseas recruits” and therefore stood in the way of its goal of boosting diversity among its officers.
It’s time for common sense not divisiveness.
That’s why I’m commissioning a root and branch review of ethnicity, diversity and inclusivity policies across defence. pic.twitter.com/0biPwTrO5Z
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) February 11, 2024
In an open letter decrying the woke push, 12 former top military officers wrote to Mr Shapps on Sunday warning that the policy was “nothing short of dangerous madness” given the threat posed by Islamists and other extremists.
“The Russians, Iranians and Chinese will be observing our descent into self-hatred and obsessing over diversity and inclusion with glee,” they wrote, while saying that the “woke” agenda of the Ministry of Defence was leading to a “moral disarmament” of the UK’s Armed Forces.
“Nothing could be better calculated to destroy the esprit de corps of our armed forces than this poisonous farrago of nonsense or to deter from serving the Crown precisely the type of people most motivated and apt to our high calling. Ours is a tolerant country and this obsessive racialising of everything is both disgusting and reprehensible,” they said.
The British armed forces have struggled to hit recruiting targets and currently only have around 75,000 soldiers in the army, about half the size of the force just three decades ago. Given the potential for the UK to become embroiled in war, already being actively involved in conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, General Patrick Sanders, the head of the British army, suggested last month that the UK may need to call upon a “civilian army” to bolster its ranks in a conflict.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 5, 2024
The military has suffered major public relations setbacks as it went woke and openly discriminated against native white British people. The Royal Air Force (RAF) previously admitted rejecting “useless white male pilots” in an attempt to increase diversity.
Although the RAF ultimately apologised for the discrimination, so far no senior leadership has faced punishment for the sexist and racist agenda.
Despite the Diversity, Equity, and inclusion agenda embarked upon by the Ministry of Defence, the Armed Forces are not hitting their recruitment targets for ethnic minorities, with Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Knighton admitting last year that the RAF’s own target of transforming itself into a force with 40 per cent women and 20 per cent ethnic minorities by 2030 was unrealistic.
While the announcement from Mr Shapps of a review into the diversity agenda was welcomed by many on the political right, others, including Brexit leader Nigel Farage questioned why it was allowed in the first place during a Tory government.
“The DEI agenda is damaging recruitment and standards in the Armed Forces,” the Brexit boss wrote, adding: “Grant Shapps can criticise this culture all he likes, but it’s happened under the Conservatives!”
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 30, 2023