Shapps becomes UK defence minister

Grant Shapps

© APA | Grant Shapps

# 31 August 2023 14:38 (UTC +04:00)

Former energy minister Grant Shapps replaced Ben Wallace on Thursday as Britain's defence minister, APA reports citing Reuters.

Shoring up his team before a national election expected next year and after Wallace resigned, Sunak will likely deploy Shapps' talent for media communication in his efforts to overturn opposition Labour's lead in the opinion polls.

"I am looking forward to working with the brave men and women of our Armed Forces who defend our nation's security. And continuing the UK's support for Ukraine in their fight against Putin's barbaric invasion," Shapps said on X (formerly knowns as Twitter) after his appointment was announced by the government.

Britain, a key defence supplier for Ukraine, is trying to increase its production of weaponry, particularly artillery shells, to try to help Kyiv push back Russian forces and replenish its own stockpiles.

Several lawmakers in the governing Conservative Party expressed surprise over the appointment of Shapps, questioning his experience in military affairs.

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