Ben Wallace Resigns as UK Defence Secretary
UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has announced that he will step down from his position following the upcoming cabinet reshuffle after four years in office.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, he revealed that he will not stand in the next general elections. He ruled out "premature resignation" and the need for additional elections.
The next cabinet reshuffle is expected in September. Rishi Sunak plans to change his top team, but the exact date has not been confirmed.
The 53-year-old Wallace stated that he is leaving politics because it has taken a toll on his family, and his allies have said that his decision does not reflect on Sunak's leadership.
Wallace's electoral constituency, Wyre and Preston North, will disappear in the next elections due to future boundary changes. Therefore, he will not seek a new one.
Ben Wallace has been popular among Tory party members as the UK Defence Secretary, and some Conservatives will likely view his decision as a significant blow to the party. This move also opens up a major vacancy in the government.
Last week, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak distanced himself from Wallace's comments, in which he suggested that Ukraine should show more "gratitude" for the military support it has received.
These comments were made during a sideline event at the NATO summit in Vilnius after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described it as "absurd" that NATO would not provide a path to membership for Ukraine after its war with Russia.
On Saturday evening, in a tweet written in Ukrainian, Wallace said his comments were "somewhat distorted" and noted that some parliaments have "not been as supportive as the UK."
Wallace added that his comments were about citizens and parliamentarians, not governments.
The Defence Secretary acknowledged strong support for Ukraine among the British public and stated that he would continue to support Ukraine on its path for as long as necessary.
BBC Reports Ben Wallace informed the Prime Minister of his decision to leave the cabinet on June 16. "I entered politics in the Scottish Parliament in 1999. That's 24 years. I've spent over seven years with three phones by my bedside," said Ben Wallace.
In the interview, he acknowledged that he will continue to advocate for increased defence spending. It has been a consistent focus throughout his tenure.
Ben Wallace served as the Defence Secretary under three prime ministers and played a significant role in the UK's response to the war in Ukraine.