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Ben Wallace Rules Himself Out Of Conservative Leadership Race And Would "Lean Towards" Boris Johnson

Ben Wallace Rules Himself Out Of Conservative Leadership Race And Would 'Lean Towards' Boris Johnson

Ben Wallace has ruled himself out of the Conservative leadership race (Alamy)

2 min read

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has ruled himself out of the Conservative leadership election and has said he would “lean towards” Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister.

The declaration of the senior Cabinet minister comes as backers of Johnson are pledging their support in the hope that he will run for a second shot at the party leadership.

MPs need to raise the support of 100 of their colleagues to get on next week’s ballot following Liz Truss’s resignation yesterday, and have until Monday afternoon to collect enough names. 

So far, former chancellor Rishi Sunak and Johnson are the figures who have gained the most support. 

Wallace tweeted this afternoon that he “will not be letting [his] name go forward as a candidate.” 

He had been tipped as a potential candidate for the leadership this time around and also in the summer, where he also ruled himself out of that race. 

Former soldier Wallace said in his message: “The reasons I gave last time for standing have not changed.

“I will be looking to all candidates to recognise that you cannot have economic security at home without national security.

“This requires real investment for our Armed Forces and intelligence agencies.” 

Speaking to Sky News, Wallace said that he has to “recognise the issue of the mandate”.  

He explained: "This will be our potentially third prime minister since the general election of 2019, that means we have to think about that legitimacy question that the public will be asking themselves and also about who could win the next election. 

"That is obviously important for any political party at the time.

"So at the moment I would lean towards Boris Johnson.”

Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg and former Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries are among the other MPs to have pledged their support for Johnson, just weeks after he left Downing Street having resigned following a series of scandals. 

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