Defence secretary Ben Wallace to quit Westminster

Obtain free UK politics & coverage updates

Ben Wallace has introduced he’ll quickly stop as UK defence secretary after 4 years within the publish, and won’t stand within the common election which is because of happen by late subsequent yr.

The 53-year former captain within the Scots Guards was first elected as an MP in 2005 for Lancaster and Wyre and earlier than that spent 4 years as a member of the Scottish Parliament. He now sits in parliament for the constituency of Wyre and Preston North.

He grew to become safety minister in 2016 earlier than being promoted to defence secretary in 2019.

He has served as defence secretary beneath three prime ministers and was beforehand touted as a future chief of the Conservative social gathering.

Hypothesis about Wallace’s intention to stop British politics has been brewing in Westminster for months, not least after he made clear his aspiration to turn into the following Nato secretary-general. That goal was thwarted after US president Joe Biden refused to again his candidacy.

Solely every week in the past folks near Wallace informed the FT that he was not planning to stop politics, claiming the hypothesis was “garbage”.

Nevertheless in an interview with the Sunday Occasions the MP mentioned he had determined to go away the cupboard on the subsequent reshuffle, which is anticipated as quickly as September.

Potential successors as defence secretary are prone to embody John Glen, chief secretary to the Treasury, and safety minister Tom Tugendhat, in line with folks with data of the state of affairs.

Wallace mentioned the choice was not associated to the truth that his constituency is being scrapped in a redrawing of electoral boundaries.

The opposition Labour social gathering enjoys an enormous opinion ballot lead and greater than 40 Conservative MPs have introduced they may go away Westminster on the subsequent election.

Wallace performed down the concept he would take up a job within the defence trade, saying he might go away politics and defence completely.

“I’m fairly completely satisfied to go and work at a bar,” he informed the Sunday Occasions. “I really feel fairly fulfilled, and that offers me plenty of choices. I typically suppose I’d identical to to go and do issues I really like, like System One or horseracing — simply do one thing fully completely different.”

Wallace is an in depth ally of former prime minister Boris Johnson and ran his abortive marketing campaign for the social gathering management in 2016.

After Johnson stop final summer time, Wallace stunned some colleagues by ruling himself out of the competition to switch him, regardless of his popularity of being well-liked with the social gathering’s grassroots members.

He mentioned his proudest achievement as defence secretary was ending an extended interval of cuts to the Ministry of Defence, unlocking “genuinely new cash” and convincing Downing Road that defence was “core”.

He warned that Britain might discover itself in a battle inside years. “In the direction of the tip of the last decade, the world goes to be rather more unsafe, extra insecure. I believe we are going to discover ourselves in a battle. Whether or not it’s a chilly or a heat battle, I believe we’ll be in a troublesome place,” he informed the Sunday Occasions.

Back To Top