Tom Tugendhat: Military's purpose is to bring death to the King's enemies - not to push ideology

All three branches of the military have faced a backlash to their efforts to increase diversity
All three branches of the military have faced a backlash to their efforts to increase diversity - ROYAL NAVY
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Tom Tugendhat has vowed ideology will not be prioritised over security in the wake of a row over the British Army’s diversity and inclusion policies.

The security minister insisted the military had “one purpose alone” as he dismissed fears “ideological requests” are being allowed to compromise national safety.

His comments came after the Telegraph revealed military personnel wanted to relax clearance checks for ethnic minority officers in a push to hit diversity targets.

Grant Shapps, the Defence Secretary, said the findings showed a “woke” and “extremist culture” had been allowed to infiltrate the Army and on Monday he will officially launch a root-and-branch review of inclusivity policies in his department.

Mr Tugendhat told GB News: “This is a time when only our enemies want us to be divided and we have absolutely no time for this sort of putting ideology before security.

“It is absolutely clear, and let me be totally clear, there is no way we are going to be easing up security requirements for ideological requests. It is simply not going to happen.

“The British Armed Forces have one purpose and one purpose alone and that is to defend the British people and bring death to the King’s enemies. There is no way we are going to be putting ideology before security.”

All three branches of the military have faced a backlash to their efforts to increase diversity, with the RAF last year forced to apologise for a diversity drive that discriminated against white men.

Tom Tugendhat, the security minister, told GB News: ‘We have absolutely no time for this putting ideology before security’
Tom Tugendhat, the security minister, told GB News: ‘We have absolutely no time for this putting ideology before security’ - THOMAS KRYCH/ZUMA PRESS

The leaked report commissioned by the Ministry of Defence noted the Army currently “struggles to attract talent from ethnic minority backgrounds” in its officer corps against the backdrop of a wider recruitment crisis.

It went on to vow to “challenge SC [security clearance] requirements” after noting security vetting was “the primary barrier to non-UK personnel gaining a commission in the Army”.

Photos of posters on Royal Navy ships which ask whether sailors are allies and define terms such as ‘LGBPTTQQIIAA+’
Photos of posters on Royal Navy ships which ask whether sailors are allies and define terms such as ‘LGBPTTQQIIAA+’

Mr Shapps said both time and resources had been “squandered to promote a political agenda which is pitting individuals against each other” as he promised a “proper shake-up” of existing diversity, inclusion and equality policies.

In an open letter to the Telegraph on Sunday night, 12 former senior military officers criticised the relaxed vetting policy as “wicked” and warned it would only give succour to Russia, Iran and China amid heightened global threats.

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