Wallace set to decline pleas from Tory MPs to run as unity candidate in leader election


    Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has told friends that he does not want to run for the Tory leadership. A final decision has not been made yet but his decision could ensure that Boris Johnson gets into the final run-off with members.

    Mr Wallace, who has just returned from intense talks in Washington DC over the Ukraine war, was yesterday in discussion with other Tory MPs after Liz Truss announced she will resign as Prime Minister just 44 days after taking office.

    One Tory MP told Express.co.uk: “Ben has said he does not want to run. He didn’t put his hat in the ring over the summer and doesn’t want to do it now.”

    Another added: “He’s talking to friends but his heart is not in running and he has said clearly that he does not want the job.”

    It has been speculated that Mr Wallace actually wants to be the next General Seecretary of NATO and has been angling for the role.

    His reputation intrnationally is sky high at the moment after his leadership in ensuring ukraine has had military supplies and the tough stance against Russia has been maintained.

    What is unclear is where Mr Wallace will lend his support in the event of deciding definitely not to run.

    He has been a close friend of Boris Johnson’s and refused to resign with others as the Partygate scandal spiralled out of control earlier this year.

    Over the summer he decided to back Liz Truss against Rishi Sunak because of the leadership role she had taken with Ukraine as Foreign Secretary.

    Mr Wallace has also been unhappy with Jeremy Hunt’s new Budget as Chancellor which has included a demand for defence cuts.

    This put the pledge of spending 3 percent of GDP by 2030 on defence at risk and also Mr Wallace objected to demands he cut back on aid to Ukraine.

    READ MORE: Boris offers olive branch to ‘get back together’ with Rishi Sunak


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