UK defence minister to quit at next reshuffle, step down as MP

London, July 16: UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said on Sunday that he will step down from the Cabinet at the next reshuffle, expected in a few months’ time, after serving four years in the job.
The 53-year-old Conservative Party member of Parliament since 2005 also told ‘The Sunday Times’ that he will not stand as an MP at the next general election, expected next year.
Wallace has served as defence minister under three British prime ministers – Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak – and has played a high-profile role in the UK’s response to the Russia-Ukraine war conflict.
“I went into politics in the Scottish parliament in 1999. That’s 24 years. I’ve spent well over seven years with three phones by my bed,” Wallace told the newspaper.
“While I am proud to have worked with so many amazing people and helped contribute to protecting this great country, the cost of putting that ahead of my family is something I am very sad about,” he said.
The minister is believed to have informed Prime Minister Sunak of his decision to stand down from the Cabinet last month.
The former soldier suggested in the newspaper interview that he would continue to call for higher defence spending, something he has campaigned for throughout his time in the role.
His exit will leave a big vacancy in an important Cabinet role to fill for Sunak. Meanwhile, his parliamentary constituency of Wyre and Preston North is set to disappear at the next general election under upcoming boundary changes. (PTI)