Ben Wallace is stepping down as UK defense secretary. Here are his possible replacements – POLITICO


LONDON – Ben Wallace is on his way out as UK defense secretary. Interest is already looking towards the newcomers.

Wallace – whose international reputation has been boosted by the war in Ukraine – made the announcement Sunday Times interview to step down as chief of defense and eventually leave British politics.

The scramble to replace him has already begun – with prominent Tories well aware that supporting the Ministry of Defense in wartime can do wonders for your reputation.

Here are the runners-up and runners-up to become the UK’s next chief security officer.

John Glenn

Much of Wallace’s time was marked by conflicts between the MoD – pushing for more power – and the bean counters at the Treasury, which determined that billions of dollars in defense were to be saved.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak can end this conflict… put a bean counter at the MoD.

One name in the frame is John Glen, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s deputy at the Treasury.

Glen worked loyally under Theresa May and then Boris Johnson in smaller roles, before taking his biggest gig under Sunak.

Shopping center including the Sun newspaper say Glen recently has an interest in all things defensive. Recently he was sent on the radio to make comments on behalf of the government while the director of Wagner Yvgeny Prigozhin. it caused a brief rebellion in Russia.

James Heappey

As the second-in-command for defense at the Ministry of Defense, Heappey often filled in for Wallace.

Heappey also accepted and took the MoD’s side in disputes with the Treasury, point to Financial “power exchange” behind closed doors. Others reports he suggests that Heappey would be the choice over Wallace for the job.

Heappey has served in the department since 2019, first as procurement minister before being promoted to the military in 2020.

He was given a brief stint in the Cabinet during Liz Truss’s brief presidency. Heappey said he would resign if Truss reneged on his pledge to raise UK defense spending to 3 per cent of GDP by 2030 – a commitment Sunak has since made. crooked.

Like Wallace – and unlike four previous defense secretaries – Heappey has military experience, which is considered essential for the job.

Penny Mordaunt

The carrying a sword The Leader of the Commons, Penny Mordaunt was once Defense Secretary – albeit briefly.

Mordaunt was promoted to the post in May 2019, but was sacked by Boris Johnson when he replaced Theresa May in Downing Street two months later.

Since then he has developed his reputation as a future leader, including finishing third in last year’s Conservative leadership race, and playing for it. leadership role in the reign of King Charles III. Mordaunt represents Portsmouth North, a heavily armed seat, and serves in the Royal Naval Reserve.

Having previously refused to give him the top job, Sunak may not want to promote his rival.

James Cleverly

Foreign secretary is in the works for Wallace – although such a move would be well removed from one of the most important offices of the British government.

Like Wallace, Cleverly’s reputation has grown because of the war in Ukraine. It is always sent by No. 10 to sell the latest line of the Ukrainian government at press conferences and on broadcast couches.

He is popular within the Conservatives despite being in conflict, and is credited with helping to improve relations between the UK and the EU.

However, getting him to play defense opens up a big opportunity that Sunak would like to avoid in the front office.

Tom Tugendhat

The Ministry of Defense did not hurt itself by taking part in the first races of the 2022 Conservative leadership.

Formerly chairman of the House of Commons’ notorious foreign affairs committee – where he took a hawkish line on China – Tugendhat got a cabinet job under Truss and was trusted to stay on under Sunak.

He also has pockets of military experience, having served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is still a retired soldier.

However, the prime minister’s role of defense secretary may seem like a big leap for someone with less than a year’s experience.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan

Trevelyan has previously served as defense minister, and has remained a loyal aide to every Tory minister from Boris Johnson onwards – despite being sacked twice from cabinet.

The first time came in 2020, when Johnson abolished the ministry of international development – and put Trevelyan in charge of his department. When Sunak entered number 10 last year, he demoted Trevelyan from his role as transport secretary to chief minister in the foreign office.

But if he wants to fix it, Trevelyan’s name has been mentioned as one of Wallace’s ingredients.

Johnny Mercer

Outspoken Johnny Mercer is rarely in the headlines. A veteran, the Plymouth MP has long been working to change the lives of veterans – and has no way of stopping social media.

He left the government of Boris Johnson during a paddle up The prosecution of the soldiers who served in Northern Ireland, but threw themselves into the ministry of the old army under the leadership of Sunak.

His frequent criticism of the last three Conservative PMs – including Truss, whom Mercer’s wife described as a “stupid” after he was sacked by the former Prime Minister – may prevent Sunak from giving Mercer his top job now.


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