Ben Wallace to stand down at next election
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faces a tough week with three by-elections taking place on Thursday which could further undermine his premiership after Ben Wallace’s announcement at the weekend.
The Conservatives’ longest-serving Defence Minister announced that he will leave his cabinet position in the next reshuffle and step down as an MP at the next general election.
The ally of Boris Johnson told the Sunday Times he was “not standing next time” but did not want to leave “prematurely” and force another by-election.
Mr Wallace told the publication that he wanted to spend more time with his family and allies reportedly say his decision is not an indication of any annoyance at Mr Sunak’s leadership.
Mr Sunak spoke highly of Mr Wallace, saying that he had been “talking to me about this for a little while, I wish him well, he’s got a distinguished record in public service”.
READ MORE: Tugendhat and Mordaunt tipped to succeed Wallace as defence secretary
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Loyalists of Mr Johnson continue to cause issues for Mr Sunak, with Tory peer Gavin Barwell claiming on Twitter last month that the three resignations were a “coordinated attempt” to damage the Government. He tweeted: “Bridges well and truly burnt.”
Another staunch supporter of Mr Johnson, Nadine Dorries promised to stand down with “immediate effect” after she was not given a peerage in the former Prime Minister’s resignation honours list but is yet to formally resign.
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The latest Techne UK tracker shows the Conservative Party trailing Labour by 20 points. Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour party lead on 46 percent, ahead of Mr Sunak’s Tories on 26 percent. The Liberal Democrats have 11 percent while Reform UK stands at six percent and the Greens five.
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