Ben Wallace will stand down as Defence Secretary and will NOT stand as MP in next election
- He will not stand as a Conservative MP after four years as Defence Secretary
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has confirmed he will not stand as MP in the next general election.
After four years as Defence Secretary, Wallace has said ‘I’m will not be standing next time’ in an interview with the Times.
Wallace added that he will also leave Rishi Sunak’s cabinet in the next reshuffle which is expected to take place in September.
He previously expressed an interest in standing for the role of Nato secretary-general but the current chief, Jens Stoltenberg, was given another year in charge despite military alliance officials dismissing the claims earlier in the year.
Mr Wallace has played a key role in responding to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and was a close ally of Boris Johnson.
Ben Wallace previously expressed an interest in standing for the role of Nato secretary-general. The current chief, Jens Stoltenberg, was given another year in charge
Mr Wallace, who has played a key role in responding to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and was a close ally of Boris Johnson, is now weighing up whether to exit politics entirely, according to the Times
Mr Wallace previously said he remains supportive of Rishi Sunak and the Government and the departure would not be related to the Conservative Party’s current challenges.
Mr Wallace is hugely popular among Tory members and had previously not ruled out a future bid to become the party’s leader – although he twice declined to stand for the leadership last year in the contests to replace Boris Johnson and then Liz Truss.
READ MORE: President Zelensky insists he is ‘grateful’ for Western military aid to fight Russia as Rishi Sunak distances himself from Ben Wallace after Defence Secretary suggests Ukraine treats the UK like ‘Amazon’ for guns
Last week, the Prime Minister shut down comments from Mr Wallace in which he suggested Ukraine should show ‘gratitude’ for the military support it had been given.
Mr Wallace had made the remark after the country’s President Volodymyr Zelensky branded it ‘absurd’ for Nato to insist there were still conditions for his nation to meet before it could gain membership once the war with Russia is over.
Mr Zelensky later said: ‘I believe that we were always grateful to the United Kingdom.
‘I don’t know what he meant and how else we should be grateful.’
Mr Wallace is the longest continuously serving minister in Government, having been security minister under Theresa May before being promoted to Defence Secretary by Mr Johnson and continuing the role under his two successors.
The Wyre and Preston North MP was previously appointed as a whip in 2014 and a junior minister in the Northern Ireland office in 2015 while David Cameron was prime minister.
All 13 of NATO’s previous permanent secretary-generals have been male, which has pressured the alliance to appoint a female chief when Mr Stoltenberg leaves after his nine years in charge.
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