The British army chiefs have been told to relax security checks for new recruits in a bid to boost diversity and inclusion in the armed forces.
Recruitment targets have been consistently missed by the British armed forces with ethnic minorities making up just 14 per cent of the regular army.
Army told to relax security checks for overseas recruits in bid to boost diversity
Former head of MI6 Sir Richard Dearlove said: “The evidence published today in The Telegraph, which apparently prioritises diversity, equality, and inclusion in matters of national security, is very worrying indeed.
“Effective security policies at whatever level they are applied simply do not allow for ‘politically correct’ soft edges.
“The fighting capability of our armed forces, already hollowed out as the Defence Select Committee recently documented, must not be further compromised by the over-application of DEI ideology. We are living in a world where the threat of war is getting closer.
“We give succour to our enemies if the concentration on the creation of an effective warrior mentality is not the primary objective of our navy, army and airforce.”
Following the findings, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps ordered a major review of diversity and inclusion policies in the armed forces.
Shapps said: “I am ordering a review of diversity and inclusivity policy at the MoD.
“We want people from all backgrounds to serve in our military but some policies appear to be more about a political agenda than practically improving the lives of our dedicated soldiers and military personnel.
“There will certainly not be any lowering of security clearance requirements on my watch.
“And no one should be offended by having religion as part of remembrance services. You don’t have to be Christian to appreciate and respect the history and traditions of the United Kingdom.”
According to an MoD source, the Defence Secretary is understood to be “furious” and “ready to go to battle” to defend national security.
The source said: “There are personnel issues that need addressing in the Armed Services but some of these policies are about a woke agenda and extreme critical race theories.
“These are leftist ideas that have leaked into the civil service and they are at best a distraction and at worst poisoning the wider discussion.”
Edward Stringer, a retired Air Marshal, said that while serving in the Royal Air Force, he raised concerns “at the highest levels”.
He told The Telegraph: “Good commanders have always valued diversity of thought, and that tends to come from a diversity of background.
“Making sure all voices can be confidently heard is a duty of military leadership: to create a genuinely meritocratic, inclusive environment where people can think critically, often under pressure.
“Identity politics can subvert this, inserting segregation into the team, and replacing critical thinking with critical theory.
“These concerns were raised at the highest level.”