THE British Army’s plan to “relax security checks for overseas recruits” has been branded “dangerous madness”.
Top brass are reportedly mulling a proposal to make the Army more diverse by recruiting foreigners.
GettyThe Army reportedly plans to relax security checks for overseas recruits[/caption]
The Telegraph reports that the Army drew up a Race Action Plan pledging to “challenge security clearance requirements” last year.
The blueprint reportedly called security checks the “primary barrier to non-UK personnel gaining a commission in the Army”.
It is claimed the proposal was intended to boost diversity in the Intelligence Corps, whose officers handle state secrets.
Ethnic minority people currently make up just 14 per cent of the regular army.
People from Commonwealth countries can serve in the Army – and are reportedly viewed as a way of hitting recruitment targets.
Overseas applicants currently need to have lived in the UK for at least five years to gain security clearance.
Recruits cannot serve in the Intelligence Corps, Royal Military Police or Army Legal Services unless they pass the security checks.
Former MI6 boss Sir Richard Dearlove told the Telegraph: “The evidence, 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.”
A group of 12 former officers said: “With Islamism and other extremism rampant, this policy is nothing short of dangerous madness.”
Defence Secretary Grant Shapps has reportedly ordered a review of the Army’s diversity and inclusion policies.