• Wednesday, September 28, 2022

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Johnson bypasses Patel to appoint Damian Hinds as new security minister

Damian Hinds MP (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

By: Pooja Shrivastava

UK prime minister Boris Johnson on Friday (13) made former cabinet minister Damian Hinds his new security minister, after deciding not to let home secretary Priti Patel take on the brief, said media reports.

 

The official announcement that Hinds will take the job came from No. 10 in less than 24 hours after the home secretary was reported to be adding security to her responsibilities.

Media reports cited a Tory source saying Patel had been “lined up to take on the brief”, but that there had been a “change of plan” though it wasn’t official that she will be assigned this job.

A former education secretary,  Hinds had served in Theresa May’s government and was once tipped as a potential prime minister by Michael Gove and Nick Timothy, the former co-chief of staff to May.

The security brief became vacant when James Brokenshire left the portfolio last month, telling Johnson that his recovery from lung cancer treatment was “taking longer than anticipated”.

Reacting to Hinds’ appointment as security minister, Labour shadow home office minister Conor McGinn, said that this is “another humiliating U-turn from the Conservative government”.

The news Hinds’ appointment as security minister came amid warnings that the west may face new terror threats following the Taliban advance in Afghanistan. 

The government was under criticism over failing to replace Brokenshire as security minister, with recent cases- such as Plymouth gunman’s killing spree and the arrest of a British national in Germany on suspicion of spying for Russia- rocking the country.

The security minister’s role outlined on the government’s website includes counter-terrorism, serious and organised crime, cybercrime, economic crime, hostile state activity, extradition, and royal and VIP protection.

It also covers online harms, the common travel area between the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, aviation and maritime security, Grenfell, and natural disaster relief.

 

 

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