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How Ben Wallace became the favorite to succeed Boris Johnson

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has gone from being a little-known politician to one of the most popular cabinet ministers among Tory members.

When Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak Having faced their respective scandals, Wallace, 51, has “risen almost without a trace to become the champion of the conservative grassroots – and the beneficiary of the struggles of his peers,” wrote Hugo Gye, political editor of the i news Side? site.

military roots

A former soldier, Wallace attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and Millfield School in Somerset. After working as a ski instructor in Austria, he was drafted into the Scots Guards as an officer. In the 1990s he was deployed in Northern Ireland, Germany, Cyprus and Central America. “The experience influenced his role as Minister,” Tim Shipman said in The Sunday Times.

He entered politics in 1999 as a member of the Scottish Parliament. After moving to Lancashire, he became MP for Wyre and Preston North, formerly Lancaster and Wyre, in 2005 and has been an MP ever since.

Wallace was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Ken Clarke when Clarke was Attorney General. He has also served as Whip, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Minister for Security.

in 2009, The Garstang Courier revealed Wallace was claiming £175,523 in expenses on top of his £63,000 salary – the fourth-highest spending request in Parliament. Wallace, who had already published his spending on his own website, said the figure reflected the fact that the constituency “has about 20% more voters than the average in England”.

Johnson’s wingman

He backed Remain in the 2016 EU referendum but is a long-time ally of Boris Johnson, backing him in the 2019 Conservative leadership election. He was promoted to Cabinet as Defense Secretary in 2019 when his patron became Prime Minister.

In his first two years in office, he was out of the limelight as the Covid pandemic kept the defense largely out of the headlines. However, the Afghanistan Crisis Last summer he took center stage and gushed during a Interview on LBC as he described the harsh realities of the Taliban takeover. Shipman of the Sunday Times called it “a rare emotional moment from a senior politician that seemed to crystallize a nation’s disappointment at a shabby retreat”.

That invasion of Ukraine has seen his profile rise again. Wallace had just completed his third month of table topping ConservativeHome‘s party membership survey of cabinet ministers with a plus 85 point rating.

“Wallace has impressed colleagues with his competent and statesmanlike response to the war in Ukraine,” said Ailbhe Rea The new statesman. “Now they’re asking if he, an unexpected wartime leader, could be the next leader of the Conservative Party and the country.”

The next Tory leader?

That popularity has certainly sparked speculation in Westminster that he could be a candidate successor to Johnson. Wallace downplayed this, saying that “for someone like me, being secretary of defense is just an amazing thing,” so he’s “not really attracted to anything else.”

Alongside talks linking him to Downing Street, Wallace has been named as the man to replace NATO Boss Jens Stoltenberg. There has been speculation that David Cameron could take over, but the former prime minister is unlikely to have the support of the French, he said Politics.co.uk.

A source said: “There is speculation by some, including overseas NATO members, that it could be Ben Wallace.”

https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/uk-news/956572/ben-wallace-profile How Ben Wallace became the favorite to succeed Boris Johnson

Fry Electronics Team

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