Boris Johnson outside Conservative Party HQ (Picture: PA).
Politics

What Has Boris Johnson's First Week As PM Meant For Defence?

It is exactly a week since he took up office.

Boris Johnson outside Conservative Party HQ (Picture: PA).

Boris Johnson outside Conservative Party HQ (Picture: PA).

Boris Johnson has been in Northern Ireland for talks on restoring the power-sharing government there.

It is just seven days since becoming Prime Minister, so what have his first days meant for defence?

UK visits

Mr Johnson has been on mission to visit all the nations that make up the UK, Scotland on Monday and Wales on Tuesday, before his journey to Belfast.

His first visits have largely been about political messaging and trying to build goodwill.

In Scotland, he chose Faslane naval base as his backdrop - a nod to the oft-repeated mantra that defence of the realm is the first duty of government.

But that nod has been almost all we have heard from Boris Johnson on defence and foreign affairs in his first week.

Boris Johnson on Vanguard submarine HMS Victorious (Picture: MOD).
Boris Johnson on Vanguard submarine HMS Victorious (Picture: MOD).

Defence issues

Publicly, at least, he has stayed largely hands-off the Iran tanker crisis.

He has not given any clarity on how defence spending might fare.

However, he has shaken up the Ministry of Defence during his cabinet reshuffle.

Boris Johnson and new Defence Secretary Ben Wallace on a visit to Faslane naval basein Scotland (Picture: MOD).
Boris Johnson and new Defence Secretary Ben Wallace on a visit to Faslane naval base in Scotland (Picture: MOD).

Cabinet

Penny Mordaunt was sacked as Defence Secretary, while Ben Wallace was appointed.

Mr Wallace is a former Army captain and was previously security minister.

Mark Lancaster, an Army reservist, is the only minister to remain at defence in the shakeup, two years since he became armed forces minister.

Former Royal Artillery officer Johnny Mercer got his first government job as people and veterans minister, and has taken charge of a new office of veterans affairs, and will work with Oliver Dowden.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan is another former backbench campaigner on defence to get their first ministerial job at the MOD.

Baroness Goldie meanwhile will be defence’s new minister in the House of Lords.