July 14, 2024

England.  “Sunday Times”: British defense secretary wants to step down

England. “Sunday Times”: British defense secretary wants to step down

ARCHIVE – British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace speaks during an interview at the British Embassy. Photo: Christophe Gateau/dpa

Keystone

According to the Sunday Times newspaper, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace intends to resign in the near future. A Saturday evening newspaper reported that he has decided to step down from the cabinet in the next cabinet reshuffle.

So the next change of government may be in September. Also, he will not contest the next parliamentary elections in 2024.

“I’m not going to run next time,” the newspaper quoted him as saying. However, according to the report, Wallace has ruled out an early resignation as MP, leading to a by-election in his constituency. Wallace has been defense secretary since 2019 and has already seen three prime ministers from his Conservative party in office.

“I entered politics in the Scottish Parliament in 1999. That is 24 years. “I’ve spent more than seven years with three phones next to my bed,” Wallace told the newspaper. When asked what the phones were for, the 53-year-old reportedly replied: “Secret, secret and secret.”

Wallace aspired to the post of NATO Secretary General. However, Jens Stoltenberg’s hopes of succeeding him were not fulfilled. “It’s not going to happen,” the Economist quoted him as saying in June. As Britain’s defense secretary, Wallace helps coordinate how Ukraine should help defend itself against Russia.

Last week he warned the Ukrainian government to exercise restraint in criticizing Western arms supplies. During his visit to Kiev, Ukraine presented him with a wish list of weapons. “Last year I told Ukrainians when I drove 11 hours to get a catalog: I’m not Amazon,” Wallace was quoted as saying in media reports.

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Wallace took up the post of Defense Secretary under Prime Minister Boris Johnson four years ago. He later retained a ministerial position in his Conservative colleague Liz Truss’s government and Rishi Sunak’s current cabinet. Meanwhile, Wallace was traded as a candidate for the top job, but declined.

There was already speculation about his future. According to a Sunday Times report, Wallace had already informed Sunak of his plans on June 16. According to the Times, Conservative Prime Minister Sunak is preparing to reshuffle his top team ahead of the next election. His party is now far behind Labor.

SDA