Grant Shapps Delivers A Blunt Message To The Government After TikTok Ban

Grant Shapps arrives at 10 Downing Street for a Cabinet meeting ahead of the Budget.
Grant Shapps arrives at 10 Downing Street for a Cabinet meeting ahead of the Budget.

Grant Shapps arrives at 10 Downing Street for a Cabinet meeting ahead of the Budget.

Grant Shapps has delivered a blunt message to the government after it introduced a TikTok ban.

Oliver Dowden, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, announced that the app would be removed from all government devices amid cybersecurity fears.

But Shapps, who is energy secretary, made it clear on his own TikTok account that he would not be closing down his own account.

He posted a 45-second clip on TikTok from the hit moving The Wolf of Wall Street, in which Leonardo DiCaprio tells a cheering crowd “I’m not fucking leaving.”

DiCaprio’s character, Jordan Belfort, adds: “The show goes on. This is my home. They’re gonna need a wrecking ball to take me out of here.”

Shapps added: “This morning the government announced a TikTok ban on government devices. That’s sensible.

“I’ve never used TikTok on government devices and can hereby confirm I will NOT be leaving TikTok any time soon.”

His post is a stinging rebuke to Dowden, who had earlier said: “Restricting the use of TikTok on Government devices is a prudent and proportionate step following advice from our cyber security experts.”

TikTok requires users to give permission for the app to access data stored on the device, which is then collected and stored by the company.

That gives TikTok access to a range of data on the device, including contacts, user content, and geolocation data.

Ministers are believed to be concerned about the way in which this data may be used by TikTok’s owners, the Chinese company ByteDance.

Parliament’s TikTok account was shut down last year after MPs raised concerns over the firm’s links to China.

The US government banned TikTok last year on federal government-issued devices due to national security concerns.

Meanwhile, staff working at the European Commission have been ordered to remove the TikTok app from their phones and corporate devices.

A TikTok spokesperson said: “We are disappointed with this decision. We believe these bans have been based on fundamental misconceptions and driven by wider geopolitics, in which TikTok, and our millions of users in the UK, play no part.

“We remain committed to working with the government to address any concerns but should be judged on facts and treated equally to our competitors.

“We have begun implementing a comprehensive plan to further protect our European user data, which includes storing UK user data in our European data centres and tightening data access controls, including third-party independent oversight of our approach.”