The British Army is so weak it couldn’t defend the country in the event of an attack, an expert has claimed. Dr Roger Gewolb made the bombshell claim as Defence Secretary Grant Shapps announced he was ordering a review of diversity and inclusion policy at the Ministry of Defence amid reports the Army wants to relax security checks for overseas recruits to boost ethnic minority representation.
It emerged on Sunday (February 11) that a British Army document vowed to “challenge” security checks to increase diversity.
The financial entrepreneur and lending expert told TalkTV: “Diversity is important when everything is working properly. To take measures such as the Army is proposing is just totally insane. It’s bonkers. It’s wokeism gone mad.”
He added: “Our Army is at 70,000. Our military is so incredibly weak that warnings are coming from everywhere that we can’t actually defend ourselves.”
His remarks came after it emerged the Armed Forces are looking overseas to attract ethnic minority talent because of long failing to hit recruitment targets.
Mr Shapps is said to be “genuinely furious about this woke nonsense” and does not believe such policies are the way to address the military’s recruitment crisis.
He claimed that a “woke culture has seeped into public life and it is poisoning common sense discourse”. Writing in The Express, Mr Shapps pledged: “I am in a position to challenge this philosophy and I will.”
The 2023 British Army’s Race Action Plan, outlining measures to boost representation, describes security clearance vetting as being “the primary barrier to non-UK personnel gaining a commission in the Army”. It vows to “challenge SC (security clearance) requirements,” according to a report published in the Sunday Telegraph.
Cabinet minister Michael Gove told Sky News on Sunday political correctness should not “impair our ability to defend our borders”.
An MoD spokesman said: “Our priority is protecting the national security of the United Kingdom and ensuring the operational effectiveness of our armed forces.
“We take security extremely seriously and ensure that all personnel have the appropriate security clearance, which is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.”
Dr Gewolb said there have to be security checks on recruits and these need to be “beefed up” as quickly as possible.
He added: “For goodness sake, don’t give up on security or you’ll find the Army is infiltrated by the wrong people as in so many other places.”
Express.co.uk has approached Dr Gewolb for further comment.
There were around 142,560 active personnel in the Armed Forces in 2023, according to Statista. Of the total, 77,540 were in the British Army, 32,180 in the Royal Air Force, 26,330 in the Royal Navy and 6,510 in the Royal Marines.
Then Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace, announced in March 2021 that the Army would be reduced to 72,500 by 2025, scrapping a target of 82,000 personnel set in 2015.
The Army was reduced from 102,000 trade-trained personnel to 82,000 between 2010 and 2015, under the coalition government led by current Foreign Secretary, Lord Cameron.
Army chiefs had a target to recruit 8,220 people in 2022-23 to non-officer ranks, but only 5,560 commenced training. The shortfall comes despite £40million being spent on a recruitment campaign and at a time of heightened global tensions, with crises in the Middle East, war between Russia and Ukraine as well as China’s ongoing dispute over Taiwanese sovereignty raising the prospect among some analysts of a Third World War.