30 June 2020 22:30
Theresa May launched a furious attack on Boris Johnson and his top team today for choosing a close political aide as the UK's national security adviser. The former prime minister tore into her successor's decision to hand the job to David Frost, his Brexit negotiator, branding him 'a political appointee with no proven expertise'. Mrs May, who appointed Sir Mark to the post, lashed out at Michael Gove as the Cabinet Office Minister defended the change after being hauled to the Commons for questioning. Praising Sir Mark's professionalism, she asked Mr Gove: 'I served on the National Security Council for nine years - six years as home secretary and three as prime minister. The former prime minister tore into her successor's (Mr Johnson pictured today in Dudley) decision to hand the job to David Frost, his Brexit negotiator, saying he was 'a political appointee with no proven expertise' David Frost (left) will replace Sir Mark Sedwill (right), who announced he was quitting as National Security Adviser on Sunday amid a power-struggle in No10 The former ambassador and whisky buff lured back into Government to work for Boris Mr Frost is currently the Prime Minister's Europe adviser and the UK's chief negotiator, having previously served as a special adviser to Mr Johnson when he was Foreign Secretary.
The role of national security adviser has been filled by Sir Mark since April 2017 - he was later also appointed to head up the civil service as Cabinet Secretary in June 2018. Mr Gove defended the decision for the next national security adviser (NSA) to be a political appointee, rather than a civil service appointment But Mr Johnson has already appointed Sir Mark's successor as National Security Adviser, with chief Brexit negotiator David Frost to be handed the role. Theresa May and Donald Trump, pictured in Downing Street in June 2019, appeared to have a warm relationship in public but a new report claims the US President 'bullied' the then-PM during phone calls THERESA MAY: Trump called her a 'fool' and would 'get nasty' on the phone, saying she was weak and lacked courage over Brexit and immigration ANGELA MERKEL: Trump branded her 'stupid' and used 'aggressive' phone calls to attack German policies in 'personally demeaning' fashion EMMANUEL MACRON: Trump delivered verbal 'whippings' as he tired of Macron's constant pleas to change his mind on Iran and climate change VLADIMIR PUTIN: Trump boasted of his wealth and intelligence and berated his predecessors Bush and Obama but was 'outplayed' by the Russian president RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN: Turkish leader would be fast-tracked through to Trump, who would be 'taken to the cleaners' because of his poor Middle East knowledge MOHAMMED BIN SALMAN: Trump would call the Saudi leader 'without anybody being prepared' and brag about his wealth and 'great' achievements as president KIM JONG UN: Another recipient of Trump's rants about his own qualities and the 'idiocy' of his predecessors Theresa May has rounded on the government for appointing David Frost to the role of national security adviser, describing him (correctly) as "a political appointee with no proven expertise in national security", who flies in the face of Michael Gove's claim that the government is seeking to reform Whitehall to increase the amount and quality of expert advice. While Frost is an experienced Foreign Office official and former diplomat – he holds his role as chief EU negotiator as a political appointee, but like many policy-focused special advisers he cut his teeth in the civil service beforehand – he has no meaningful experience in the intelligence and security communities. While you can fairly say that Frost's appointment fixes a problem created by May in appointing Mark Sedwill to the posts of national security adviser and head of the civil service – a huge amount of power and responsibility to be concentrated in the hands of one official – you cannot reasonably say that Frost is as qualified for the role as it as operated since 2010 as any of the three previous holders.
Theresa May attacks Government for replacing Mark Sedwill with David Frost: 'A political appointee with no proven expertise' Michael Gove said making David Frost the new National Security Adviser was an 'entirely appropriate' choice The Government has defended Boris Johnson's decision to choose his chief EU negotiator as the new National Security Adviser after former prime minister Theresa May criticised the appointment.